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South-east Asia faces further decline in human rights

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Significance

East Timor is the only South-east Asian country categorised by the Freedom House organisation as completely ‘free’. Cambodia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, as well as Indonesia, also have democratic procedures for the transfer of power but face growing criticism over their human rights records.

Impacts

  • Regional states could reimpose draconian restrictions ostensibly aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19 if new waves of the virus hit.
  • Media curbs will tighten in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia as elections approach.
  • Indonesia’s code could hurt tourism to the country, since it applies to foreigners as well as locals.

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