With World Press Freedom Day falling on May 3, just a couple days before the official opening of the 32nd SEA Games, the Ministry of Information said it will assign an official representative to participate with stakeholders in observing the occasion instead of organising any events directly.

Ministry spokesman Meas Sophorn said the ministry always values and respects the importance of the day and supports relevant partners in organising a celebratory event each year.

“For this year, due to the busy preparations for broadcasting the upcoming 32nd SEA Games hosted by Cambodia, the ministry could not organise the event as we did last year, but we will appoint a representative to join the celebration that will be organised by various other stakeholders as in previous years,” he said.

He added that Prime Minister Hun Sen may also elect to issue a message to mark the day as he has in previous years.

Sophorn said press freedom in Cambodia has gradually improved over time and that the freedom of the press is now fully maintained in accordance with the Constitution.

He noted that at present, the number of media organisations and journalists with diverse perspectives is increasing from day to day and most have been actively fulfilling their duty to disseminate information and report news responsibly.

Houn Phorn – coordinator for the “Promoting Independent Media and Freedom of Expression in Cambodia” project at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR) – said the organisation will organise some activities to celebrate the day, including the dissemination the biographies of some journalists and human rights workers who have dedicated themselves to the journalism profession and the right to free expression.

“We will also present short videos on the subjects of independent media and freedom of expression, as well as some radio programmes related to the role of independent media in Cambodia,” he said.