Another week, another Asian news roundup! This week we’ll cover a Journalist arrested on potentially politically charged grounds, Sri Lanka looking to hire executioners, and a rather odd gift given in North Korea for the lunar new year.
Journalist Arrested On Libel Charges
Journalist Maria Ressa, and well-known critic of Philippines’ President Dueterte, was recently arrested on charges of tax evasion and libel. She served as the CEO of Rappler which has continuously been reporting and investigating on some of the more brutal tactics employed by the president in his war on drugs. Ressa’s lawyers have stated that the move is politically motivated and an attempt to silence independent media reporting against the government. Ressa is an accomplished journalist who has worked with CNN, ABC, and several other publications throughout her almost 30-year career.
Sri Lanka Is Hiring Executioners
Sri Lanka’s commissioner general of prisons released a newspaper advertisement calling for executioners. The move comes after President Maithripala Sirisena stated that the death penalty would be reinstated within the next two months following in the footsteps of the Philippines in a drug crackdown. The advertisement calls for male applicants only between the ages of 18-45 who possess “exceptional” morals as well as strong mental capacity as well. The move to restart the death penalty has already come under fire from Amnesty International, though that seems to have carried no bearing on the decision.
Give The Gift Of…Crystal Meth?
The lunar new year is one of the most important holidays in the Korean peninsula and as such it is common custom to bring gifts to exchange when visiting friends and family. In North Korea, however, the most popular gift this time around has become crystal meth. Going by it’s more common street name of “ice,” crystal meth has taken the hermit nation by storm in popularity in recent years making news both within the nation and the region at large. While people were previously discreet about their use of drugs in the country, the overall popularity of crystal meth and other drugs has spiked to such a degree that bringing drugs for the holidays is quickly becoming a new custom. Perhaps this will be a new gift option for Valentine’s Day as well.
You can read more from Killian Hobbs on Think Liberty here.