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

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune