Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Fears over incitement in the new penal code

Fears over incitement in the new penal code

Fears over incitement in the new penal code

About 40 Cambodian journalists have signed a joint statement expressing concern about incitement provisions in the Kingdom’s new penal code, claiming that the threat of criminal charges encourages fearful reporting.

The statement, released on Sunday, said that incitement, as defined in the new criminal code, could be used against journalists with ease.

“The threat from incitement will drive newsmakers to be fearful and discouraged from performing their professional roles, and sometimes they will lose their position as reporters,” the statement warned. “There is less and less freedom for the news.”

The statement urged the government not to bring incitement charges against journalists, and to use the 1995 Press Law instead. Altwhough journalists have been jailed for incitement in the past, none have been charged with the crime under the new penal code, which entered into force in December.

Pa Nguon Tieng, director of the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media, said, however, that incitement charges brought against activists and others have given journalists reason for concern. “I have seen that some idea-expressing activists have been accused of incitement, so I think that reporters can suffer easily from the danger of being accused,” he said.  

Nhem Noy, director of the information department at the Ministry of Information, said the government had to implement the law.  “The law must be respected,” he said. Nhem Noy said reporters should make sure they were acting in line with the law and proper moral conduct in order to avoid charges under the penal code.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY TEP NIMOL

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,