Sunday, November 2, 2003

Government Pledge Not to Censor Internet, Creates Opportunity for Journalists

Malaysians Test Limits of Press Freedom; Government Pledge Not to Censor Internet Creates Opportunity for Journalists

First police raided the modest newsroom, hauling away the 19 computers that journalists used to produce their online report and put it beyond the reach of the country's stifling press restrictions.

Two days later, the landlord informed journalists for the Web site, Malaysiakini, that they were being evicted from their offices, tucked down a narrow side street of buildings and apartment blocks, for activities contravening the laws of the land.

Nine months later, Malaysiakini (www.malaysiakini.com) has recovered all but two of its computers and rebuffed the eviction order. But the chief editor, Steven Gan, faces the prospect of three years in prison on sedition charges for refusing to reveal ...