PEC urges Singapore government to withdraw blockade on Asia Sentinel

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By Navajyoti Thakuria

PEC urges Singapore government to withdraw blockade on Asia Sentinel

Geneva, 24 June 2023:

Press Emblem Campaign, the global media safety, and rights body, while expressing its concern over the blockade on Asia Sentinel, an independent online media outlet focusing on Asian news coverage urges the Singapore government (precisely the interior minister K. Shanmugam) to withdraw the ban immediately and unconditionally.

‘Access to Asia Sentinel’s website has apparently been blocked in Singapore by the country’s Ministry of Communications and Information,
according to local media, after we refused to comply with an order to correct a May 24, 2023 article concerning the use of government power against dissenters,’ said the media outlets on 3 June. It also added, ‘Asia Sentinel cited statements confirming the veracity of our
reporting. The government demanded that Asia Sentinel carry the correction at the top of our website for 30 days, which we refused to do.’

Currently, Asia Sentinel remains inaccessible throughout the city-state due to the government’s diktats. The development started with a piece titled ‘Singapore Kills a Chicken to Scare the Monkeys’, which was uploaded on 24 May, when the Singapore government’s inherent pressure on the media was criticized.

PEC urges Singapore government to withdraw blockade on Asia Sentinel
PEC urges Singapore government to withdraw blockade on Asia Sentinel

“It’s very unfortunate that the Singapore government wants to read only favourable stories about them and it has seemingly decided to reject all kinds of critical journalism. The concerned ministry should withdraw the arrogant approach to the acclaimed media outlet and allow
its access to the interested Singaporean nationals,” said Blaise Lempen, president of PEC (www.pressemblem.ch).

Asia Sentinel was created to provide a platform for news, analysis, and opinion on national and regional issues in Asia and it’s independent of all governments and major media enterprises. It has twice won the top award for investigative and interpretive reporting from the Society of Publishers in Asia (SOPA) and it’s highly respected in the business, economics, and diplomatic communities across the region.

Singapore’s home affairs minister Shanmugam issued a statement threatening to take stern action against Asia Sentinel under a new law
on ‘online falsehoods and manipulation’, which has been used by the government to tame the press, critics & political opponents. Asia
Sentinel made a correction post on the concerned piece. Although the media outlet posted the Singapore government’s demand, it stood by the story.

Speaking to PEC’s South & Southeast Asia representative Nava Thakuria, veteran journalist and Asia Sentinel’s editor John Berthelsen
informed that the blockage has definitely denied general Singaporean readers to access its website, but it’s published on the Substack
platform as a newsletter (meaning it’s available in email accounts).

About Post Author

Editor Desk

Antara Tripathy M.Sc., B.Ed. by qualification and bring 15 years of media reporting experience.. Coverred many illustarted events like, G20, ICC,MCCI,British High Commission, Bangladesh etc. She took over from the founder Editor of IBG NEWS Suman Munshi (15/Mar/2012- 09/Aug/2018 and October 2020 to 13 June 2023).
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