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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - U.N. Wins Complaint Against T.V. Program

U.N. Wins Complaint Against T.V. Program

U.N. Wins Complaint Against T.V. Program

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP)-A U.N. agency working along the Thai-Cambodian border has

won a complaint against a British television program that alleged the Khmer Rouge

built a munitions warehouse on U.N.-owned land.

According to the U.N. Border Relief Operation (UNBRO), Britain's government-appointed

Broadcasting Complaints Commission upheld the UNBRO's complaint against Central Television,

which in October 1990 broadcast the film "Cambodia, the Betrayal" by Australian

producer John Pilger. Central Television is part of Britain's independent commercial

television network.

The British program examined the attitude of the West to the possible return to power

of the Khmer Rouge and the role of western governments in supporting their guerrilla

activities over the last 13 years.

During the program, Pilger stated that, "our sources tell us" the land

on which a Khmer Rouge warehouse was located "is owned by the United Nations

Border Relief Operation (UNBRO) and leased to the United States government,"

who in turn allowed it to be used by the Khmer Rouge.

The commission said it did not consider this statement unfair because it was attributed

to sources and not presented a matter of fact.

"In other respects, however, the commission found the complaint justified,"

the ruling said.

The commission was not persuaded that the program had sufficient-or indeed any-evidence

of UNBRO's involvement as a body to justify Pilger's comment, "This is ironic-a

humanitarian agency renting its property to a foreign government which allows the

Khmer Rouge to use it as a military base."

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