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

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at