Asia

2010

Attacks on the Press   |   Sri Lanka

Attacks on the Press 2009: Sri Lanka

Top Developments
• Editor murdered, broadcaster bombed, reporters assaulted.
• Columnist convicted of terrorism for his writing.

Key Statistic
0: Number of convictions in 10 journalist murders since 1992.

On May 19, the government formally declared a victory in its 26-year civil war with the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which had claimed territory for an ethnic Tamil homeland. Victory came at a high price for the press. Escalating attacks on independent journalists coincided with the government’s 2006 decision to pursue an all-out military victory, CPJ found in a February special report, “Failure to Investigate.” Ethnic Tamil journalists seen by the government as supporting independence had long been under murderous assault, but physical and verbal attacks on Sinhalese and Muslim journalists critical of the government’s military operations began accelerating in 2006 as well. These attacks—which in 2009 included a murder, a bombing, and several assaults—occurred with complete impunity.

Attacks on the Press   |   Thailand

Attacks on the Press 2009: Thailand

Top Developments
• Amid partisan conflict, media owner is target of failed assassination.
• Heavily used lese majeste laws criminalize criticism of royal family.

Key Statistic
2,000: Web sites blocked by government for violating lese majeste laws.

Thai media were caught in the middle of a political conflict that entered its fourth year of destabilizing antigovernment street demonstrations and tough government responses. Both sides in the conflict—supporters and opponents of exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra—threatened journalists, some of whom were openly aligned to factions taking part in the protest movements.

February 16, 2010 12:13 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Vietnam

Attacks on the Press 2009: Vietnam

Top Developments
• Bloggers face regular harassment and detention.
• Government conducts extensive online censorship.

Key Statistic
300: Number of cybercafés outfitted with software tracking visits to banned Web sites.

While maintaining its tight grip on traditional news media, the government intensified its already significant controls over the Internet with new restrictions on content and heightened monitoring of the blogs that have emerged as an alternative source of news and commentary. Internet penetration continued to surge, with an estimated 22 million users among the country’s approximately 89 million people, according to Ministry of Information and Telecommunications statistics.

February 16, 2010 12:06 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea

Attacks on the Press 2009: Asia Developments

February 16, 2010 12:02 AM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, Pakistan

Protective bylines, and why they’re necessary

I’ve been writing a lot recently about the urgent need to protect journalists in Afghanistan and Pakistan (a string of links is at the bottom of this entry). While neither country has become as dangerous as, say, Iraq at the height of the conflict, conditions are getting more dangerous for reporters. And very often, it is local journalists who need the most protection.

February 12, 2010 2:44 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Vietnam

Amid crackdown, two blogs shuttered in Vietnam

New York, February 12, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the Vietnamese government’s apparent shutdown of two politically oriented blogs, Blogosin and Bauxite Vietnam. The sites, both of which published critical perspectives on sensitive government issues, had been the targets of ongoing hacking, The Associated Press and the Agence France-Presse reported.

February 12, 2010 2:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   Japan

Japanese journalists under pressure: Kisha Clubs and stress

Fujimoto (CPJ)

Katsuya Fujimoto and Shuichi Yutaka, the general secretary and the president of Shinbun Roren, the Japan Federation of Newspaper Workers’ Unions, sit at a table in their office in Tokyo’s Bunkyo-ku district amid a pile of papers. A software engineer with a media company and a journalist, each on two years’ leave, they are shuffling through documents showing their organization’s efforts to reform the Kisha Club system I wrote about yesterday

Blog   |   China, Japan

Feng Zhenghu home safe after Kafkaesque exile in Japan

A scrum of reporters met Feng at the Shanghai airport. (Isaac Mao)Journalists, friends, and supporters of Feng Zhenghu, who I interviewed in Tokyo on Monday as he was about to end his involuntary exile in Japan, have been making full use of the Internet to document his arrival home in Shanghai’s Pudong Airport this afternoon.

February 12, 2010 11:15 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Sri Lanka

Two journalists missing in Sri Lanka

New York, February 11, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by the disappearance of two journalists in Sri Lanka. Chandana Sirimalwatte, chief editor of the Sri Lankan weekly newspaper Lanka, was detained by police around noon on January 30, according to his wife, Hemali Abeyratne, and staffers at the paper. Lanka e News journalist Prageeth Eknelygoda has been missing since January 24.

Blog   |   Japan

Japanese investigative reporter challenges Kisha system

Terasawa says his relations with police are "like warfare." (CPJ) Yu Terasawa seems philosophical as he discusses plans for his fourth lawsuit against the Japanese state, which he says he plans to initiate next week. Lawsuits are a part of daily life for Terasawa, who has been at the forefront of Japan’s investigative journalism community for almost 20 years as a freelance reporter specializing in police corruption. He has lost three cases of his own, been sued and has countersued in response, and has settled out of court. He is fighting for things many journalists take for granted: The right to attend a press conference, cover court proceedings, and above all, tell the truth.

February 11, 2010 4:52 PM ET

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2010

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