Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police draft drone sub-decree to protect national security

Police draft drone sub-decree to protect national security

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Several 'no drone zones' have been designated across Phnom Penh. The National Police is currently drafting a sub-decree on the use of drones, with an objective 'to protect national security'. Hong Menea

Police draft drone sub-decree to protect national security

The National Police is drafting a sub-decree on the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also referred to as drones, with an objective “to protect national security”, said the General Commissariat’s anti-cybercrime department director Chea Pov on Monday.

The Ministry of Interior held a meeting last Wednesday to discuss the sub-decree which is aimed at regulating the use of drones.

The meeting was presided over by Bun Hun, the ministry’s secretary of state, with the participation of legal officers from the ministry and other relevant units under its supervision.

Pov confirmed that the sub-decree is aimed at strengthening national security, saying “drones have arrived in Cambodia, that’s why we have to start to regulating them”.

“We do this [regulating the use of drones] for the protection of the Kingdom of Cambodia.”

He said the sub-decree will stipulate punishments but he couldn’t confirm when the draft would be finalised.

“When something has the potential to undermine national security, there shall be punishments.”

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said this draft law, when it is ratified, is aimed at maintaining public order and social security.

He said the “anarchic use of drones could affect the rights and privacy of individuals, as well as threaten national security”.

“Since the operation of drones might affect public order, it requires clear regulations through a legal form.”

However, civil society organisations expressed concerns over the planned regulation and said the sub-decree would restrict the rights and freedoms of journalists and opposition groups.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Ministry of Interior holds a meeting last Wednesday to discuss a new sub-decree aimed at regulating the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), also referred to as drones. Ministry of Interior

Rights group Adhoc spokesperson Soeng Sen Karuna said the draft law could be used by the government to restrict freedom of the press and silence groups with dissenting opinions.

He urged the government to allow input from members of the public and civil society groups before ratifying the draft law.

But Malin dismissed the concern that the law could affect people’s rights and freedoms, saying that “civil society [groups] always have concerns, but the authorities have an obligation to maintain [public] order and national security”.

“In the interest of public order and national security, freedom also has its boundaries,” he said.

In June 2017, James Ricketson was arrested for flying his drone to film a commune election campaign of the CNRP in Phnom Penh.

He was placed under temporary detention by the authorities for more than a year on an espionage charge under Article 446 of the Criminal Code.

Last year, he was given a royal pardon and deported from the Kingdom, a turn of events that saw him spared from a six-year prison sentence.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia voted ‘world’s friendliest country’ in Rough Guides reader poll

    Cambodia ranked number one among the “World’s Friendliest Countries”, according to a reader poll conducted by London-based international website “Rough Guides”. Taking submissions through Twitter and Facebook, “Rough Guides”, a well-known travel agency and publisher of guidebooks, said the Kingdom “was by far the

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The