Human rights are fundamental to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, or religion. However, due to the diverse cultures and varying political structures in Southeast Asia, tackling human rights issues remains a major hurdle for the region.
Except for a few bright spots, press freedom in ASEAN continues to be a foreign concept.
Self-censorship, restrictions on media access and outdated and oppressive laws are among the reasons Southeast Asia continues to lag behind their global counterparts in the World Press Freedom Index – with half the countries in the region falling one spot in the 180-country index.
Tech giants have reacted with horror after Singapore proposed laws against "fake news" allowing authorities to order the removal of content and impose hefty fines, in what critics say is an assault on free speech.
China is trying to establish a "new world media order" to prevent and counter criticism, a project that threatens press freedom globally, watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned in a report released Monday.
Philippine journalist Maria Ressa was freed on bail on Thursday following an arrest that sparked international censure and allegations she is being targeted over her news site's criticism of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, whose news site has repeatedly clashed with President Rodrigo Duterte, was arrested at her Manila office on Wednesday in what press freedom advocates branded an act of "persecution".
Being a journalist has never been easy. Many of them work long hours, travel to faraway places and go through plenty of mud just to get a story. Being a journalist in Southeast Asia however, requires an even stronger character.
Myanmar, facing international outrage over the jailing of Reuters journalists for their reporting on a massacre of Rohingya Muslims, is conducting a "political campaign" against independent journalism, the United Nations (UN) said Tuesday.
A free press has always been an integral institutional safeguard to any self-professed democracy in the world. In Cambodia, things are slightly different.