Target: Sonam Phuntsho, Businessman in Bhutan
Goal: Drop libel suit against journalist in order to protect freedoms of the press and expression in the nation of Bhutan.
Namgay Zam, a journalist in Bhutan, is facing a libel suit of nearly $38,000 after she shared a Facebook post challenging the actions of a local businessman, Sonam Phuntsho. The fine is more than 15 times the average income in the nation. If she doesn’t pay, she will face several years in jail simply for a social media post.
This is not the first instance of a restriction on freedom of the press and expression in this country. Reports have found that many journalists and reporters in Bhutan are afraid of the consequences they face for doing their job. In addition, access to information and sources is made very hard to acquire.
If Zam loses this suit, a dangerous precedent will be set in the nation. If the court decides to find Zam guilty, it will send a message of warning to all journalists that they may be fined, or worse, jailed for reporting the news and using social media. Sign the petition to demand that the suit against Zam be dropped.
Dear Mr. Phuntsho,
You have recently brought a libel case against journalist Namgay Zam for her sharing a social media post about your allegedly questionable property dealings and disputes. She faces a severe fine or several years in jail, simply for a social media post.
Bhutan already has a troubling history and reputation when it comes to the press. If you carry through with your suit, you will be setting a dangerous precedent that will drastically limit freedom of the press and expression, which will set Bhutan back from the recent democratic advancements it has gained. I ask that you drop your suit against Ms. Zam.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Vanna44