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WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY EVENTS IN ASIA-PACIFIC

The Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ) is kicking off 3 May festivities with an early morning rally in Kathmandu. Later in the day, FNJ, in a special programme on the continuing challenges the media face in Nepal, is honouring its "press freedom fighters" and launching two publications - its annual press freedom report and a book on slain journalists.
Email: [email protected]
In Ulan Bator, Mongolia, Globe International with the Open Society Forum is launching a "We should tell the truth" campaign on 3 May and taking it to 21 provinces. In a round table meeting on 2 May, more than 50 journalists, politicians, lawyers and civil society members are discussing forms of censorship in the country and recommending ways to create a more favourable environment for the media. The results of the campaign will be published in Globe's report "Media Freedom and the Current Situation of Mongolia".
See: http://www.globeinter.org.mn
In Thailand, members of the Thai Journalists Association (TJA) and Thai Broadcast Journalists Association planned to stick a press freedom pin on the shirt of Prime Minister Surayudh Chulanont to remind him of the importance of media freedom, when they have an audience with him and his cabinet on 1 May. Two days later, the organisations, with the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), are holding a half-day panel on "Freedom of Expression in the Digital Age", which focuses on the hot topic of government censorship of the Internet.
See: http://www.tja.or.th
It is no secret that the Philippines is the most dangerous country for journalists after Iraq. SEAPA, the Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) and the Indonesian Press Council are kicking off a series of events in Jakarta, Indonesia on 2 May with a half-day forum on journalists' safety - focusing on the impunity of attacks against journalists in the neighbouring Philippines, as well as the impact of the Southern Thailand conflict on press freedom. The programme also highlights the dangers in fieldwork, with a special focus on Iraq and women journalists. Stick around for a workshop on defamation organised by AJI on 3-4 May.
See: http://www.seapabkk.org/
Two more substantial publications coming your way on 3 May - SEAPA is releasing a media analysis on the state of free expression in the region: http://www.seapabkk.org/, while the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) is launching the "Philippine Press Freedom Primer: Quick Answers to Your Questions": http://www.cmfr.com.ph/books.html.

Tapping phones, convicting whistleblowers, banning books - they're the hallmarks of a government bent on controlling information over the past 12 months in Australia, says the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). To mark 3 May, MEAA and a number of prominent journalists reflect on the creeping erosion of press freedom in 2006 in its report, "Official Spin: Censorship and Control of the Australian Press".
See: http://www.alliance.org.au/
Other IFEX member events:
- Free Media Movement's report on "The Death of Media Freedom in Sri Lanka": http://tinyurl.com/36o5tp
- The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is launching its annual report "The Fight Goes On: Press Freedom in South Asia 2006-2007", Male, Maldives, 3 May: http://www.ifj-asia.org
Non-member events:
- National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is holding a candlelight vigil for its slain colleagues, Quezon City and other locations, Philippines, 3 May, email: [email protected]
- Forum on journalist safety and impunity by Asian Institute for Development Communication (AIDCOM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 3 May: http://www.aidcom.com/ac2
- Centre of Independent Journalism, "Saving Journalists" through the arts, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 5-6 May: http://worldpressfreedomday.blogspot.com/
(1 May 2007)

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