Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Radio Free Asia slams allegations levelled at journalist

Radio Free Asia slams allegations levelled at journalist

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CNRP lawmaker Long Ry is seen walking out of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court after being questioned over the case of prominent RFA journalist Chun Chanboth yesterday. Photo supplied

Radio Free Asia slams allegations levelled at journalist

As an opposition lawmaker appeared in court yesterday to be questioned over a controversial case involving a Radio Free Asia journalist, the news outlet issued a strong rebuke against the accusations that he misrepresented himself in order to get an interview with a politically sensitive prisoner.

Chun Chanboth allegedly falsely declared his identity to gain entry, along with an opposition delegation including Long Ry and Mu Sochua. RFA reporters generally use pen names, and Chanboth used his real name, Huot Vuthy, to register at the jail.

Responding to the allegation that he had sought to deceive guards, RFA issued a statement calling it “beyond reason that authorities would target, harass, and threaten a journalist for doing his job”.

“[He] has not committed any crime. Nor did he misrepresent or conceal his identity as a well-known broadcaster with Radio Free Asia. These recent actions are meant to intimidate him and RFA’s staff during a highly contested election season.

We at RFA take these threats seriously. They will not distract or prevent RFA’s brave and courageous journalists and staff from continuing to bring the people of Cambodia the honest, objective, and unbiased news they deserve,” it said.

Despite the fact that Chanboth used his real name to gain entry, a video circulated after the incident appears to show Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker Long Ry identifying him as an “assistant”. But independent media advocates have described the case as a heavy-handed attempt to prevent a journalist from carrying out his legitimate work.

Ry, who represents Banteay Meanchey province, was questioned for two hours yesterday by prosecutor Sieng Sok at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Ry took a back door out of the court compound and declined to speak to the media.

His lawyer, Sam Sokong, said Ry had chosen to attend court to clarify the case despite his parliamentary immunity. Mu Sochua is set to appear before the court today, and Chanboth is due to appear on May 2.

MOST VIEWED

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Police arrest Canadian with 167kg of drugs

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on November 15 placed a Canadian national in pre-trial detention in connection with smuggling and possessing 167kg of illegal drugs. Deputy National Police chief in charge of anti-drug enforcement Mak Chito told The Post on November 15 that the man was arrested