Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Daily ‘intimidation’ slammed

Daily ‘intimidation’ slammed

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A photograph of the press release issued by the Overseas Press Club of Cambodia condemning journalist intimidation on social media. Facebook

Daily ‘intimidation’ slammed

Independent groups representing journalists yesterday criticised as “intimidation” the posting of a reporter’s passport photograph by Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, following a complaint against the journalist and his colleague by a commune chief and villagers in Ratanakkiri province.

Kanharith on Tuesday uploaded a photograph of Cambodia Daily reporter Zsombor Peter’s passport along with a warning for journalists to follow election laws and media ethics while covering the two-week campaign period preceding the June 4 commune elections.

His post followed a complaint on Monday against Peter and reporter Aun Pheap. The complaint stated the pair had asked questions about politics while interviewing residents in O’Yadav district’s Pate commune. The events listed in the complaint did not suggest either reporter had breached any specific rules or journalism ethics.

In a statement on Facebook yesterday, the Overseas Press Club of Cambodia condemned the minister’s actions.

“The OPCC condemns the lack of due process that led to a reporter’s identity to be shared in a potentially dangerous and defamatory way,” read the statement, which called for the information’s removal.

Speaking on Tuesday, Kanharith said he was just “reminding” reporters to follow the relevant laws on reporting the election. He said his sharing of the passport photo information did not breach any law.

It did, however, violate Facebook’s own Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, which tells users “You will not post anyone’s identification documents or sensitive financial information on Facebook”.

The Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia – whose leader Huy Vannak is affiliated with the government – weighed in yesterday on the matter and appeared to take the side of the complainants, claiming that asking people who they were voting for was a violation of political rights and confidential voting.

However, Southeast Asian Press Alliance Executive Director Edgardo Legaspi said: “The complaint doesn’t appear to be anything egregious,” Legaspi said. “[This is] intimidation using their rules in their favour to gain political advantage.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk