Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t touts free press record

People watch a presentation during World Press Freedom Day in Phnom Penh yesterday.
People watch a presentation during World Press Freedom Day in Phnom Penh yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t touts free press record

The Ministry of Information yesterday trumpeted Cambodia’s free press credentials during an event for World Press Freedom Day yesterday, though a political observer being sued over remarks he made on radio said the situation for freedom of expression was still grim.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith lauded Cambodia’s top spot among ASEAN nations in Reporters Without Borders’ annual World Press Freedom Index, although globally the Kingdom ranks 128 out of 180.

He also spoke of “journalists in name only” who use the title as a cover for extortion, and called on all journalists “to respect their professional ethics”.

Club of Cambodian Journalists director Chhay Sophal said 19 journalists had been accused of extortion in the past 12 months, and a further four accused of defamation.

Prominent analyst Ou Virak – currently being sued by the CPP over comments he made during a Radio Free Asia interview – said while Cambodian press freedom has increased in recent years, the overall situation of freedom of expression had deteriorated.

“It’s not the media that’s being targeted. But . . . if you’re targeting people who are prominent in the media, then you’re probably limiting what gets reported and what gets discussed,” said Virak

Meanwhile, the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) launched a social media campaign in support of World Press Freedom Day, highlighting nine cases of harassment of journalists in the last 12 months, including two assaults and a murder.

“For Cambodia to enjoy genuine press freedom, the judiciary and government need to stop targeting those who dare to expose corruption and criticize the powerful,” CCHR’s Protecting Fundamental Freedoms Project coordinator Chhay Chhunly said.

Additional reporting by Jack Davies



Please, login or register to post a comment
Don Rennie's picture

Dear David and Jack,

The international community is aware of the recent examples demonstrating erosion for freedom of expression in Cambodia. The PM and the CPP are playing a losing game by cracking down on people who criticize the powerful and expose corruption.

The PM is deathly afraid of being exposed and criticized. He can't handle the truth. This is a sign of a megalomaniac person.


Latest Video

Turkish Embassy calls for closure of Zaman schools

With an attempted coup against the government of President Recep Erdogan quashed only days ago and more than 7,000 alleged conspirators now under arrest, the Turkish ambassador to Cambodia yesterday pressed the govern

CNRP lawmakers beaten

Two opposition lawmakers, Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Sakphea were beaten unconscious during protests in Phnom Penh, as over a thousand protesters descended upon the National Assembly.

Student authors discuss "The Cambodian Economy"

Student authors discuss "The Cambodian Economy"

Students at Phnom Penh's Liger Learning Center have written and published a new book, "The Cambodian Economy".