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Asia

2011

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The China Internet Information
Center counted 420 million Internet users in China in the middle of 2010. (AP)

Along with cracking down on what it considers trashy TV --- China's State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) said Tuesday that it will limit entertainment and add more news and other programs that "build morality and promote the core values of socialism" -- the government is going after what it calls rumor mongers on the Internet. The BBC and others reported on the Internet crackdown after the official Chinese news agency Xinhua released a short item on Tuesday, announcing that three people had been detained or arrested for publishing incorrect information, or "spreading rumors online," as Xinhua put it.

Murders of journalists such as Wali Khan Babar give Pakistani journalists plenty of reason to fear. (AP/Mohammad Sajjad)

On Monday, a well-known Pakistani journalist came to our office in New York. We had been messaging and texting for a few weeks, so I knew what to expect. Despite the harsh reality check that CPJ's Sheryl Mendez and I offered during our 90-minute meeting, he is going ahead with the process of applying for asylum in the United States. "I would rather live as a poor man in a mud hut than as a king in a castle who feared for his life," he told us. It sounded like a line he had prepared to convince us, and perhaps himself, that he was doing the right thing.

Floodwaters have reached Bangkok. (AP/Sakchai Lalit)

Bangkok, October 25, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's government has tried to censor the citizen-journalist website Thaiflood, which has provided crucial news and information about massive flooding that has inundated one-third of the country's provinces. At least 350 people have been killed and millions dislocated by the natural disaster.  

Holding intermediaries liable for users' content

Earlier this month, I spoke as an expert witness in the ongoing trial of Chiranuch Premchaiporn, the editor of Thailand's Prachatai.com website, who is being criminally prosecuted under that country's Computer Crime Act and Lesé Majesté laws. The crime involves online posts allegedly disrespectful to Thailand's monarchy, but Chiranuch herself is not accused of originating or posting the commentary.

New York, October 19, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that access to anti-government news website Lanka eNews has been blocked inside Sri Lanka, according to the site's exiled editor and users inside the country. All three language versions of the site, English, Sinhala, and Tamil, have not been available since Tuesday. 

New York, October 19, 2011--A radio commentator and anti-mining tribal activist who was scheduled to launch a new radio station program in a few days was gunned down in the southern Philippines on October 14, news reports said

Reporters in Baluchistan have organized a string of protests over lack of safety. (ONLINE News Network)

Reporters in Pakistan's conflict-stricken province of Baluchistan have been organizing to display their anger against the continued death threats they have been receiving from government secret services, religious militant groups, and armed nationalist organizations. Their most recent demonstration on October 1 was only one in a string of protests to confront the problem.

Police assist a newly released prisoner at Insein Prison in Yangon Wednesday. (Reuters)

CPJ and other Burma watchers are monitoring the announcements of the unfolding prisoner release closely. As a press freedom organization, we've focused most closely on the fate of the 14 journalists we counted in jail in Shawn Crispin's report, "In Burma, transition neglects press freedom" that we posted on September 20. In our alert today we welcomed the release of Burmese blogger and comedian Maung Thura, bringing that number down to 13, and there's a chance the number might even be lower.

The Burmese comedian and blogger known as Zarganar arrives at the Yangon international airport Wednesday. (AP)

Bangkok, October 12, 2011 - The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes today's release of Burmese blogger and comedian Maung Thura, but reiterates its call for the immediate and unconditional release of at least 13 other journalists on CPJ's imprisoned list.

New York, October 7, 2011--A Lahore-based editor for a political news website was found dead early this morning, according to Pakistani news reports and the journalist's brother.

2011

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