H UN SEN has lashed out at the Cambodia Daily newspaper, saying that it is not fully
legal and accusing it of distorting the truth.
In his Dec 9 speech in Kandal, Hun Sen claimed that the Daily had mis-translated
an earlier statement by him by reporting that he had urged Khmers to "storm"
"If violence occurs, it is those who distorted the truth who must take responsiblity,"
Hun Sen warned, adding that the Ministry of Interior arrest any journalists who incited
Hun Sen alleged that the Daily was not "fully legal" and asked: "Why
has it been allowed to be in Cambodia?"
His comment was an apparent reference to Ministry of Information statements that
the Daily has not met all its registeration requirements. Daily staff say the paper
was registered last year, but the ministry recently asked for further documents from
it, which had been provided.
The Daily said that its Phnom Penh printer - the Pracheachon Printing House, which
also prints the Cambodian People's Party newspaper - had notified that it would no
longer print the newspaper, following Hun Sen's speech.
An alternative printer has been found.
The government has filed dozens of prosecutions against Khmer journalists in the
past 18 months but no foreign-owned newspapers in Cambodia have so far faced official
sanctions for alleged crimes.