Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Publisher calls for arrests to stop

Publisher calls for arrests to stop

Publisher calls for arrests to stop

AN opposition-aligned publisher who was recently released from prison after being convicted of disinformation was among those who marked World Press Freedom Day on Monday by calling for a moratorium on journalist arrests and condemning the government for a spike in such arrests over the last 12 months.

“Hopefully after the World Press Freedom Day, no journalist will be arrested or imprisoned due to reporting the critical inaction of government and law enforcement,” Hang Chakra, publisher of Khmer Machas Srok, said during a ceremony marking the inauguration of a new office for the Press Council of Cambodia.

Hang Chakra was imprisoned in June of last year after the paper published a series of stories alleging corruption on the part of officials in the cabinet of Deputy Prime Miniser Sok An. He was released last month after being given a Royal pardon.

A report released Monday by the Club of Cambodian Journalists stated that 24 journalists have been arrested in the past 12 months, up from 10 arrests reported during the same period a year earlier.

In a statement Monday, Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights, condemned what he described as “the gag on Cambodian journalists”, saying it was “stifling democracy and human rights in Cambodia”.

Speaking at the same ceremony as Hang Chakra, Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said the government stood behind all journalists, even those who are critical of its policies.

“We want to see journalists join together to develop journalism in Cambodia and report the facts of each story to help the government eliminate corrupt people from our country,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • 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

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘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