Self-censorship on politics and religion
Self-censorship is the rule for journalists working for state-owned Radio Television Brunei and for the leading daily newspapers, which are directly owned by the sultan’s family. The authorities are free to intervene in the activities of journalists but it is rarely necessary because the repressive legislation, rendered even harsher by the introduction of a very strict version of the Sharia, suffices to deter any comments that could be interpreted as criticism of the Sultanate. Publishing any content that adversely affects the “prominence of the National Philosophy” is punishable by three years in prison under the sedition law. Bloggers who post any independently-reported information risk being prosecuted on a criminal defamation charge even if they deleted the content soon after posting. Any “malicious” comment is punishable by five years in prison. Under a new criminal code adopted in 2019, any written or spoken statement that is blasphemous or advocates apostasy is punishable by death.
152 in 2019
51.48 in 2019