Friday, May 04, 2007

Back from Jakarta

I just got back from Jakarta where I sat as a member of a panel that discussed the media's struggle against defamation in Asia.

In the middle of the discussion on Thursday (Press Freedom Day), I received a message from the Philippines that says First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo dropped the libel charges he filed against 46 journalists.

It was good news for Asian journalists gathered in Jakarta. The conference organizers (IFJ, AJI, Seapa) invited me later to join a press conference to announce the news.

After the whole day workshop, we held a candle-lighting vigil at one park in Jakarta's city center to call for the immediate release of Alan Johnston, a BBC correspondent who was abducted by gunmen in Gaza on March 12.

It was an emotional gathering of journalists from all over the region.

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