Launch and Panel Discussion “Unshackling Expression”: A discussion on decriminalising expression online in Asia (#FOEonline #Asia)

Regulations pertaining to online spaces have taken many forms. Information and communication technology (ICT) laws throughout Asia have provisions that seek to censor and criminalise speech online. These regulations pose a significant challenge to people’s freedom of expression and their ability to participate in democratic processes such as elections. Media and journalists along with human rights defenders are finding it increasingly difficult to engage in online spaces with the threat of prosecution looming large.

The Association for Progressive Communications (APC), in collaboration with the Internet Policy Observatory, University of Pennsylvania, has commissioned a report that examines criminalisation of online expression in six Asian states: India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Myanmar. We welcome all to an informative discussion on the findings of the report, along with insights from experts on the context, the challenges and opportunities in these countries for the practice of freedom of expression online, and the laws that are used to stifle such expression.

Moderated  by: Gayatri Khandhadai (Asia Policy Regional Coordinator, Association for Progressive Communications)


Sevan Doraisamy (Executive Director, SUARAM)

Anja Kovacs (Director, Internet Democracy Project, India)

Htaike Htaike Aung (Executive Director, Myanmar ICT for Development Organization)

Yingcheep Atchanont (Programme Manager, iLaw, Thailand)

Ed Legaspi (Executive Director, South East Asian Press Alliance)

Sadaf Baig (Executive Director, Media Matters for Democracy, Pakistan - remote participation)

Venue: Room 7 & 8, G Floor, Convention Centre, Hotel Renaissance, Kuala Lumpur

Date: 24 April 2018

Time: 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Participation is open to all and there is no entrance fee. Refreshments will be served.

Contact details: Dobby Chew (; +60 11 3988 3367)

                         Pavitra Ramanujam (