Asia

2010

Blog   |   Pakistan

Remembering Pakistan's bad old days of November 2007

Pakistani journalists pushed back against Musharraf's clampdown on the media in 2007. (AP)

November 3, 2007, was a dark day in the history of Pakistan's media. Former military dictator General Pervez Musharraf banned all private news channels, and some entertainment and sports channels, through an "oral order." He said he made the move to stop "irresponsible journalism." Many of the staff in the president's office who dealt with the media were unaware of his decision; intelligence agencies were used to tell the cable operators to pull the channels off air. Media reacted strongly. After 80 days of struggle, jailings, and legal battles, including sedition cases brought against some journalists, the government backed down from its decision and allowed the channels back on air.  

Blog   |   Indonesia

Playboy Indonesia editor speaks out from jail

Arnada (Reuters)

Although I refuse to say that I am guilty for violating criminal law for publishing Indonesia Playboy magazine, it never crossed my mind to run away or to try to avoid the two-year prison sentence handed down to me by the Supreme Court. I am a good citizen who respects the law in Indonesia.

On Saturday, October 9, 2010, I went to Jakarta with my lawyer, Todung Mulya Lubis, to be taken into custody and to begin my sentence. This was in compliance with an agreement made between my lawyer and the prosecution, according to which I was to be taken to the prosecutor's office that afternoon by Lubis and the Press Council.

November 2, 2010 1:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burma, Internet

The Burmese Internet on the eve of election

Supporters of independent candidate Yan Kyaw attend a campaign rally earlier this month in Yangon for Myanmar's upcoming general elections. (Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun)

Burma tops CPJ's "10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger." With the scheduled general election in the country approaching, there have been reports of growing interference with both local and exiled journalists. As Burma enters the final stretch of the campaign, CPJ's senior South East Asia representative, Shawn Crispin, give me a brief summary of the online situation:

It does appear that the authorities are deliberately slowing down Internet connections to make it more difficult for journalists to file images and video over the Internet ahead of the upcoming elections.

One foreign reporter I was in touch said she has had increasing difficulty sending photographs out of the country from Rangoon-based Internet cafes. She said there are concerns among local reporters that the regime may shut down the Internet altogether during the actual elections.

Burma's military junta learned lessons from the 2007 Saffron Revolution, when many undercover reporters sent images and videos over the Internet to international and exile-run news organizations. You'll recall then authorities shut down the Internet ahead of the army's armed assault on protestors.

Since then, the authorities have increasingly used the vague and harsh Electronics Act, which broadly bans the unauthorized use of electronic media, including the Internet, to send information outside of the country, to suppress and intimidate reporters who work undercover for foreign or exile run news organizations.

Three Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) reporters have recently received harsh prison sentences on charges related to the Electronics Act. Another two await a court verdict in a a case they were charged under the same Act, among others. This is clearly meant to send a signal to reporters that they risk long jail sentences if they send materials over the Internet, including critical news about the upcoming election.

October 28, 2010 11:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Pakistan

Naming names in a Pakistan abduction case

CPJ has always been careful to avoid making accusations when journalists are abducted or killed in Pakistan. Our tactic is to call for full investigations either by the police, the courts or special investigative bodies. In many such cases, the local journalists' community blames government security agencies, including the powerful Inter Services Intelligence group (ISI), as we noted a few days ago in an alert. Umar Cheema, who was abducted and humiliated over the weekend of September 4 and 5 near Islamabad, has specifically accused the ISI of being involved in his case and has stuck with those accusations.

October 28, 2010 4:50 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Vietnam

Another blogger arrested in Vietnam crackdown

Bangkok, October 28, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the arrest and detention of Vietnamese blogger Le Nguyen Huong Tra. Her arrest is the latest episode in a mounting crackdown on bloggers leading up to a crucial Communist Party congress scheduled for January 2011.

Blog   |   Indonesia

Arnada's Supreme Court appeal continues in Indonesia

Indonesian Playboy editor Erwin Arnada is appealing his conviction and two-year jail sentence. (AP)

Here's a quick update on the Indonesian Supreme Court's ongoing hearing to review its decision to sentence Playboy Indonesia editor Erwin Arnada to two years in jail for "public indecency." It's a case I've been following closely, because the outcome is an indicator of which direction Indonesia will be moving in the coming years -- toward or away from more media freedom. On September 30, CPJ wrote to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono about the case.

October 28, 2010 12:32 PM ET

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Blog   |   China, Internet, Tajikistan, Thailand

Internet Blotter

October 27, 2010 5:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   Indonesia

Playboy editor's case is a test for Indonesia

Erwin Arnada, editor of the now-defunct Indonesian edition of Playboy, is appealing his conviction and two-year prison term. (AP)

On Wednesday, Erwin Arnada, editor of the now-defunct Indonesian edition of Playboy, will be released from Jakarta's high-security Cipinang prison for a few short hours to stand beside his legal team in Indonesia's Supreme Court.

October 26, 2010 6:12 PM ET

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Blog   |   Afghanistan, France

Marking the 300th day of French journalists' captivity

'Free the hostages!' is the rallying cry for those seeking the release of Hervé Ghesquière, left, and Stéphane Taponier, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan. (AFP/Michel Gangne)

Hervé Ghesquière and Stéphane Taponier, two journalists from the public television channel France 3, along with their Afghan translator, Mohamed Reza, and two assistants, Ghulam and Satar, have been held hostage for 300 days in Afghanistan.

Blog   |   Internet

Protecting journalists from Firesheep

Wifi users at a McDonald's in Manhattan. (AP/Bebeto Matthews)

There's been a great deal of coverage in the last day or so of Firesheep, a plugin for Firefox that lets you take over the Facebook and Twitter accounts of others on your local network. If you use Firesheep, you can pick one of the people on, say, the same open wireless at your nearby cafe, and then easily view, delete, and add comments using their name on these sites.

October 26, 2010 9:34 AM ET

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