The Cambodian Human Rights Committee’s latest propaganda video released yesterday appears to condone the harsh measures US police took against “Black Lives Matter” protesters.
The clip, produced by the government body and titled Civil Rights: Violation of Other People’s Rights, features photos of police cracking down on protesters in France, Italy and the US.
The video includes a picture of white cops – one smiling – manhandling a black man in Baltimore who was pepper-sprayed and dragged to the ground by his hair for protesting black deaths in police custody.
The text “Cambodia also has the same obligation” flashes up on the screen immediately after the controversial image.
Neither CHRC head Keo Remy nor the Press and Quick Reaction Unit could be reached yesterday, but government spokesman Phay Siphan said while he had not seen the videos, Cambodian protesters had to respect public order.
“If they work against the police, the police can act proportionally to maintain public order and control,” he said.
“[Some] use the human rights for a hidden agenda . . . they use human shields of children and pregnant women to face police. They serve their own purpose.”
But Chak Sopheap, executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, said via email that the latest installment of the video series was “another act of intimidation and scare-mongering, which aims to strike fear into the hearts of any Cambodians who would dare to exercise their fundamental human rights”.
“The video aims to legitimise the actions of the government when they brutally suppress protests . . . but it is plain for any observers to see the disproportionate responses,” she said, referring to activists’ nonviolent “Black Monday” campaign.
The CHRC was ridiculed for a similar video last month, which mistook Singapore for pre-war Libya, raising questions about potential copyright breaches.
A number of photos appear to be lifted from news sites – including the Post – without attribution, seemingly violating the author’s “exclusive right to decide the manner and the timing of disclosure” of their work under Cambodian law.
However, Joseph Lovell, managing partner at BNG Legal Law Firm, said while he had not seen the videos and could not judge if there were infringements, copyright images could sometimes be used for news or educational purposes – but they should still be attributed in that case.