Asia Centre and Destination Justice Sign MOU

Asia Centre and  Destination Justice signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 4 July 2021. This MoU marks the start of the organisations’ collaboration on Thailand related projects, starting in 2021 and builds on 5 year of prior cooperation on regional issues.On 28 July 2021, Asia Centre and Destination Justice, together with other partners filed a submission: “Protection of Human Rights in the Context of Peaceful Protests During Crisis Situations” to the Special Rapporteur on the Freedom of Assembly and of Association. The submission draws attention to the protection of human rights activists and protesters in the context of crisis and emergency situations…

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Asia Centre Internship Video

Human Rights Internship at Asia Centre In this Internship informational video, conceptualised, scripted, filmed and compiled by Asia Centre interns, prospective applicants can get an insight into the work at the Centre. It provides an overview of Asia Centre's activities and the types of tasks interns engage with at the Centre. Submit an application, we look forward to hearing from you! Fill the online application form Here Watch on YouTube

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Timor-Leste’s Problematic “Internet” Laws

Timor-Leste’s government must set out clearly defined steps in the drafting process of its legislation, including ensuring there are consistent and adequate opportunities for consultation with the country’s stakeholders. These concerns over inadequate consultation have arisen on the back of three proposed laws on defamation, cybercrime and privacy that stand to impact internet freedoms. The draft Criminal Defamation Law, proposed in June 2020, would reinstate criminal defamation in Timor-Leste’s Penal Code and provide an easy path to criminalise critical opinions against the state or its officials. The draft Cybercrime Law, proposed in January 2021, does not provide adequate protection to human…

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Timor-Leste: Internet Freedoms Under Threat

Download full report Timor-Leste: Internet Freedoms Under Threat analyses the state of internet freedoms against the background of emerging national legislation pertaining to online content and privacy of data. With the rise in internet and social media usage, the scrutiny of government figures on digital platforms has resulted in a push for legislation aimed at cracking down on criticism, and allowing for surveillance and interception of online content. The collection of personal data in a move to digitalise public administration and the economy, furthers the risk of online surveillance of critics. This report examines the potential regression in online political…

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Myanmar: Dismantling Dissent Crackdowns on Internet Freedoms

Download Full Report Myanmar: Dismantling Dissent - Crackdowns on Internet Freedoms examines the state of internet freedoms in Myanmar. Since the military coup on 1 February 2021, any semblance of true freedom of expression online has drastically deteriorated. It is a sharp decline from the  increased user growth and adoption of social media platforms for political expression. This report examines a range of national laws that have been used to impact internet freedoms, namely the Constitution, Penal Code, Electronic Transactions Law, Telecommunications Law, and Law Protecting the Privacy and Security of Citizens in the last 10 years. To ensure the…

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Asia Centre Internship Podcast

How do I become an Intern at Asia Centre ? EP1 What Does a Communications Intern Do at Asia Centre? EP2 How Can I be an Effective Intern at Asia Centre ? EP3 What Does a Research Intern Do at Asia Centre? EP4

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Securitisation of Health Protocols: Impact on Vulnerable Communities

In responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments across the Asian region have adopted (exceptional) health protocols to contain and arrest the spread of infections, and are now focusing on acquiring vaccines and rolling vaccination programmes. Many of the measures adopted have been characterised by a securitisation of health protocols and have either failed to address the specific needs of vulnerable communities, or worsened their already precarious conditions. To facilitate discussions on these trends, and identify avenues for positive change, on 18 June 2021 Asia Centre, Harm Reduction International (HRI) and UNITE Global Parliamentarians Network to End Infectious Diseases (UNITE) co-hosted…

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Waging War Against COVID-19

Download Waging War Against COVID-19: The Securitisation of the Health Response in Five Asian Countries, evaluates the various health responses enacted by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Sri Lanka. This briefing note categories the health responses as blended civil, securitised or militarised. Such an approach shows that authorities in the region, tackling the COVID-19 situation, primarily approach it as public security rather than a public health threat. This briefing note is a prelude to the full report The Securitisation of COVID-19 Health Protocols: Policing the Vulnerable, Infringing their Rights.

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Timor Leste Risks Downgrading Freedoms With New Laws

Amidst recent pushback to protect internet freedoms, it remains to be seen if Timor-Leste will retain its high rankings in “freedoms” in the long-term, as the country seeks membership in ASEAN, a grouping whose freedom rankings exhibit a sharp decline. While the country ranks highly in terms of academic and press freedom, with internet freedom likely to be on a similar upward trajectory, access to the internet and emerging laws present a challenge.These were the broad assertions made during an online town hall titled “Timor-Leste: Internet Freedoms Under Threat” held on 4 June 2021 by Asia Centre to share its…

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Thailand protests while Australia watches from the sidelines

Following the lifting of the COVID-19 curfew in May 2020, Thai youngsters led a series of nationwide protests demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, a Constitutional amendment, and a reform to the monarchy. From July – December 2020, according to the Human Rights Lawyer Association, there had been 898 political assemblies all over the country. The Thai government has responded to the protesters’ demands by turning to the law to persecute dissenters and run an authoritarian disinformation campaign. Computer Crime Act and Penal Code’s Article 112 (lèse-majesté) and Article 116 (sedition) were used to criminalise freedom of expression,…

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