Simon Roughneen

"Simon Roughneen":http://www.simonroughneen.com/ is a southeast Asia-based journalist who has reported from Vietnam several times. He writes for the Christian Science Monitor, The Irrawaddy and others. He is on twitter @simonroughneen and you can Circle him on Google+.

by Simon Roughneen

ROME – If you’re on Twitter, #conclave has been one of the best places to follow news about the next leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics. On Tuesday evening Rome time, between start of the vote, and the inconclusive end to the first ballot, tweets were coming in at around 40 per minute by [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

KUALA LUMPUR — On Feb. 17, Malaysia’s still-influential former Prime Minister Mahithir Mohamed weighed in on an ongoing debate about freedom of the press in Malaysia, a rising Southeast Asian economy. “Frankly I would rather have the government censoring me … [I]f I don’t like what the government is doing, I can work for the [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

PENANG — “Reactionary group leader sentenced to life in jail” ran the headlines in Vietnam’s government-linked press earlier this week. Such coverage sheds light on how the media works in the one-party state where online writing has filled a void. In state-run mainstream media, topics such as power struggles within the ruling Communist Party and [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

RANGOON, Burma — Even near-100-degree temperatures could not deter about 1,000 saffron-robed brown umbrella-carrying Buddhist monks from marching through Burma’s biggest city and commercial capital Rangoon last week, utilizing new freedoms to express their views in public in a way that wouldn’t have been permitted not so long ago. The monks — accompanied by several [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

BANGKOK — Less than a week after a new cybercrime law came into force in the Philippines, the country’s Supreme Court today ruled to suspend implementation, pending review to decide if the law undermines civil liberties. The suspension comes after a public outcry mounted against some of the provisions of the law, which aims to [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

RANGOON, Burma — It is a sign of the times that a journalist in Burma is writing about a freedom of expression clampdown in a neighboring country. With around 80 political prisoners freed in another amnesty on September 17 and with new Information Minister Aung Kyi announcing that the recently formed country’s press council would [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

BANGALORE, India — The Indian government has gone on the offensive against Internet giants such as Facebook, Google and Twitter, demanding hundreds of pages be removed or blocked after political unrest erupted in various parts of the country. On August 15, India’s independence day, Indian northeasterners began fleeing Bangalore, the country’s southern IT hub and [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

BANGALORE — The weekend before last, black-clad Burmese journalists took to the streets of main city Rangoon to rail against the suspension of two local newspapers by the country’s censorship board. An estimated 300 protesters wore black T-shirts with the logo “Stop Killing the Press” after The Voice Weekly and The Envoy were suspended for [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

Two and a half years to the day since the world’s worst-ever single mass killing of journalists took place in the southern Philippines, many suspects remain at large, the trial is stalled, and victim’s families are being harassed and intimidated. MANILA — Most days, Philippine presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda does a White House-style briefing with [...] more »

by Simon Roughneen

BANGKOK — A week out from special elections that are likely to see opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi take a seat in the country’s parliament, Burma’s long-straitjacketed journalists sat with local and foreign officials to discuss a new press law that could see the country’s censorship regime abolished. Thiha Saw, editor of Myanmar Dhana [...] more »