Freedom of expression comes under fire in Southeast Asia
In April, Cambodia’s last independent newspaper, the Phnom Penh Post, was sold to a Malaysian investor with links to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The newspaper’s editor was sacked for refusing to remove a report on the sale from its website. In late May, the Cambodian authorities announced draconian restrictions on reporters covering next month’s elections. Two former employees of Radio Free Asia’s Cambodia bureau, which closed under government pressure last September, were detained in November on espionage charges and remain in custody. In the Philippines, the government in January ordered the closure of online news service Rappler, which had been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In Thailand, nearly 100 people have been charged with sedition for expressing opinions or holding peaceful protests since the May 2014 coup. They include three Pheu Thai Party members who criticised the junta at a news conference last month on the eve...
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