P PROVISIONS allowing journalists to be jailed have been left in the draft press
law by a National Assembly committee which has been considering the
The committee decided only to put the law's penal provisions in
bold type in the official copy of the law, to draw them to the attention of MPs
when it goes before the assembly for discussion by MPs.
International Affairs and Information Committee had proposed to recommend the
provisions be deleted from the law, according to an informed source, but did not
because of strong objections from one Cambodian People's Party member.
King Norodom Sihanouk and First Prime Minister and Funcinpec leader
Prince Norodom Ranariddh are among those who have supported the removal of the
Political observers are awaiting the final position of Second
Prime Minister and CPP leader Hun Sen, who they say may well hold the key to
what happens with the law.
The law is due to be brought up for debate at
the assembly's next session, scheduled for April 7, according to Vice-Speaker
Loy Sim Chheang.
Chheang indicated he was not expecting a lengthy debate
over the bill, saying "it won't take us much time to pass it even if we have to
debate it article by article".