Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom creeps up in press ranking

Kingdom creeps up in press ranking

Kingdom creeps up in press ranking

THE state of the Cambodian media improved slightly in the past year, despite a legal crackdown on government critics, according to a report released on Tuesday.

In its Press Freedom Ranking, covering the period from September 2008 to August this year, international press watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranked Cambodia 117th, up from 126th among 174 countries, well ahead of neighbours Myanmar (171), Laos (169), China (168), Vietnam (166), Thailand (130).

Critics said the ranking ignored the spate of prosecutions against government critics in 2009, which saw one opposition-aligned newspaper editor sentenced to a year in prison on disinformation charges.

“Look at the reality. Evaluations are one thing, but the reality is that some journalists were put in jail for their opinions,” said Yim Sovann, spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party.

Sam Rithy Doung Hak, deputy director of the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists, said certain press freedom articles in the new Penal Code were an incremental improvement over old laws mandating jail terms for defamation and disinformation charges, but that not much had changed in the past year. “In general, I think it’s still bleak,” he said.

Mao Ayuth, a secretary of state at the Ministry of Information, said he had not seen the report but was not surprised by its findings. “I think the people are free to express their opinions,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,

  • Gov’t continues China tilt as ties with the US slide on ‘interference’ in Kingdom’s internal affairs

    CHINA has granted some $131 million in aid to the Cambodian military. It comes as yet another sign that the Kingdom is strengthening strategic ties with its Asian neighbour to counter increasingly cold relations with the United States. The aid was announced as part of a