At one o’clock in the morning in Istanbul, I began to doubt that I would make it back to Hong Kong. I had been travelling for 24 hours and had no ticket home. I was stranded and despair was creeping in. My misadventure was a case study in how Hong Kong’s single-minded zero-Covid policy is a deterrent to travel punishing enough to cordon off “Asia’s World City”.
Bleak House Books, Hong Kong: Albert Wan is not your average bookseller. For starters, Bleak House Books, which he opened in Hong Kong in 2017, boasts its own “Bill of Rights”. “We’re kind of outspoken as a business,” says Wan, a former civil rights and criminal defence attorney who relocated to his parents’ birthplace from Atlanta.
December 10, 2018
“The world over, journalism is under threat,” says Shahidul Alam, a photographer and social activist who was detained for 107 days in after supporting protests against the Bangladeshi government. “Whether you’re a teacher, a dancer, a painter, or a journalist, each one of us needs to be constantly fighting.” His mission makes him one of The Guardians, journalists fighting to defend the truth, and TIME's 2018 Person of the Year.
October, 17 2020
Hong Kong is not a city that favours the pedestrian.
Simply crossing the street can involve detours through concrete stairways, elevated sky bridges and subterranean underpasses that, just a year ago, were wallpapered with Post-it notes bearing pro-democracy slogans. Then Covid-19 arrived and everyone went indoors.
October 3, 2019
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, has invoked a colonial-era emergency law to prohibit protesters from wearing face masks in an attempt to quash anti-government demonstrations. But she says the city is not in a "state of emergency". Here's what to expect next:
June 12, 2019
Protesters fought pitched battles with police in central Hong Kong in an eruption of public anger against an extradition bill that critics see as a fundamental threat to the territory’s civic freedoms and rule of law.
January 8, 2019
Unfolding in live time on Twitter, teenage Saudi runaway Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun’s plight has served as a high stakes parable of the world’s opaque and often-dysfunctional refugee system, exposing the geopolitical considerations at play when countries like Thailand are faced with harboring the world’s most helpless.
November 18, 2018
A law professor, a sociologists, and a retired reverend face up to seven years in prison for spearheading 2014's tumultuous “Occupy Central” demonstrations, in Hong Kong's most concerted effort yet to punish the protest leaders who drew global attention to China’s stifling of democratic norms and political rights.
June 3, 2018
Roth Puthy didn't have a plane ticket or a suitcase. Nor was she catching a flight. But on a recent Sunday afternoon, she boarded Cambodia’s new airport shuttle train anyway — just for fun. She wasn't the only one.
January 18, 2018
The arrest of two Reuters journalists investigating the Rohingya crisis Myanmar has veteran reporters and editors fearing that any journalist could be the next victim of intolerant authorities and colonial-era laws.
May 23, 2018
Mahathir Mohamad’s shocking electoral victory in Malaysia and newfound commitment to reform represents a much-needed windfall in a region where democracy was on the back foot. Few commentators seem willing to sully the moment by confronting one of the more repugnant aspects of Mahathir’s 22-year stint at Malaysia's helm: anti-Semitism.
November 29, 2018
Four decades after Cambodia’s vicious Khmer Rouge regime killed 1.7 million people — a fifth of the country’s population — some justice is finally being served. After 11 years of hearings and over $300 million spent, Cambodia's war crimes tribunal found the regime's two most senior surviving leaders guilty of genocide. But the historic verdict may also be the tribunal's last.
February 6, 2018
Rights experts and legal analysts warned that a verdict releasing Umbrella Revolution leaders Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow could have a “chilling” effect, creating a more lenient threshold for jailing dissidents and endangering political liberties.
July 22, 2018
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party have left little to chance in the lead-up to a July 29 vote, intimidating dissidents and disarming his challengers. But that hasn't stopped nearly 20 parties from signing up to challenge the strongman's 33-year rule.
May 9, 2017
At least four religious figures have gone missing in recent months, sparking fears that minorities are being targeted and the moderate, Muslim-majority democracy is sliding into Islamization and vigilantism.
August 7, 2018
For six months in 1988, protests swelled across Burma, as hundreds of thousands of citizens participated in a nationwide mutiny, led by disaffected students, against the ruthless dictator Ne Win. The stillborn revolution was put down with staggering violence, but its events set the stage for a democratic transition nearly 30 years later, and drew to the fore the country's most prominent figure: Aung San Suu Kyi.
May 10, 2018
The future of The Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia's last independent English newspaper, has been thrown into question after a hostile takeover by a Malaysian public relations official with ties to the country's longtime ruler Hun Sen and the chief minister of Malaysia's Sarawak territory.
September 20, 2017
The crowd waiting for Aung San Suu Kyi’s highly anticipated address on the ongoing crisis in Rakhine, in western Myanmar, looked prepared for a pep rally, rather than a requiem on a conflict labeled “textbook ethnic cleansing.”
“We deeply believe in our leader. She will know what to do,” said Win Htu, an attendee who admitted he was able to hear very little of the remarks.
October 29, 2017
Hun Sen, the country’s Prime Minister, “is testing the commitment of the international community and Cambodian public,” says Kem Monovithya, the CNRP’s deputy director-general of public affairs. “How they react in coming weeks is crucial to the fate of Cambodia.”
August 22, 2017
Dr Myint Oo learned about the pandemic allegedly gripping Myanmar the same way most people did: on his Facebook feed. He was surprised: He hadn't heard anything from Myanmar's Ministry of Health and Sport (MoHS) about a new epidemic threat.
October 9, 2017
International condemnation of Myanmar’s military campaign against the Rohingya ethnic minority is unlikely to faze Israel, which has a long history of using weapons sales to ease Yangon’s isolation.
May 31, 2017
China envisions a port, pipelines and special economic zone could transform a backwater town in western Myanmar into a modern entrepot rivaling the likes of Hong Kong and Singapore. For local residents, however, the benefits aren't so clear.
May 30, 2017
Beijing has regained lost diplomatic and economic ground as American President Donald Trump sends mixed diplomatic messages to Southeast Asia's shaky new democracy.
June 21, 2017
Myanmar's first minimum wage, passed in September 2015, was hailed as a landmark achievement for labor rights and a sign the country was firmly on the path to democracy. Just a year and a half later, the wage is up for review, as spiraling inflation and rising costs of living have pushed low-wage laborers back on to the picket lines to demand a better deal.
May 2, 2017
In its second year, a wide-ranging art and heritage festival broke down barriers between artists and city, while organisers hope it encourages residents of Myanmar's biggest city to question the kind of an urban environment they want to live in.
May 24, 2017
A brief dispatch from Yangon's first and only craft microbrewery, and the only brewing outfit not run by firms connected to the country's former ruling military junta.