Friday, February 26, 2016

US, EU must pressure Putrajaya over media block, says global rights group

It is high time the United States, European Union and other governments intervene to pressure Malaysia's leaders to move away from media policies that one would expect to see in a one-party dictatorship, a global human rights group said over Putrajaya's move to block access to news portal The Malaysian Insider. Human Rights Watch deputy director Phil Robertson also said that it cannot be doubted anymore than prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was tightening the noose  around  the country's online news outlets. "The US, European Union and other governments need to intervene now to pressure Malaysia's leaders to move away from media policies one would expect to see in a one party dictatorship like Vietnam rather than a state that claims to be a modern, multi-party democracy.    "No one can doubt anymore that Prime Minister Najib and his government are tightening the noose of censorship and control around the necks of Malaysia's vibrant online news outlets," Robertson said in a statement today. He said it was also apparent that Najib was willing to sacrifice  Malaysia's prior respect for freedom of online expression if it meant he could successfully stifle critical reporting about his government's policies. He said the block also signified the government was engaged in a blatant and outrageous breach of freedom of the press, adding that this increased fears over the country's faltering commitment to human rights and democratic principles. Robertson called for Putrajaya to lift the block and offer a public apology to The Malaysian Insider's editors and readers. – February 26, 2016.]]>

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