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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Defending Freedom of Expression

Download Full Report Abstract Defending Freedom of Expression: Fake News Laws in East and Southeast Asia published by Asia Centre and the Council of Asia Liberals and Democrats (CALD) examines the existing and recently enacted laws and policies in the region which govern disinformation. The aim of the report is to provide a policy tool of ideas to empower legislators, political party leaders, academics, civil society activists, journalists to protect freedom of expression. This report compares the impact of legislation in countries with multiparty legislatures and independent government institutions, and countries with one dominant political force and an absence of…

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Myanmar Coup and Internet Shutdowns

Download Asia Centre’s Briefing Note, Myanmar Coup and Internet Shutdowns, tracks the period 1 February to 31 March 2021. The Note provides a timeline of the shutdowns, reactions from protestors, technology companies and the international community, legal analysis of key laws and Myanmar’s international obligations. Over the course of the coup, it records a shift in tactics by the military junta from internet content censorship to infrastructure control. Asia Centre will continue to track developments related to internet freedoms in Myanmar and Southeast Asia.  

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COVID-19 and Democracy in Southeast Asia

Download Full Report ABSTRACT COVID-19 and Democracy in Southeast Asia: Building Resilience, Fighting Authoritarianism examines trends under which Southeast Asian governments have used crises as opportunities for their political advantage. This report, centred around the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), highlights the routine response from governments with the announcement of emergency decrees and laws, suspension of civil freedoms, corruption of electoral democracy, censorship, digital surveillance measures, and framing human rights activists as national security threats. Post- crises, governments then enact long term laws and policies that effectively shrink civic space. Their methods also include limiting media and journalists’ watchdog activities through…

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Hate Speech in Southeast Asia

Download Full Report ABSTRACT Hate speech, often disseminated online, is increasingly a problem in Southeast Asia with consequences of violence and communal strife. As a result, several countries in Southeast Asia such as Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand have introduced or are revising bills aimed at securing social, racial or religious harmony. Non-legal measures to foster social cohesion, interfaith dialogues and social harmony activities have also been used to address hate speech and promote cross-communal understandings. A majority of states in Southeast Asia have also signed the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) to…

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