Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Watchdog criticises jailing of Ros Sokhet



Watchdog criticises jailing of Ros Sokhet

Watchdog criticises jailing of Ros Sokhet

THE International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has criticised the recent jailing of freelance journalist Ros Sokhet, saying his offence did not warrant criminal charges.

Last Friday, Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Chhay Kong sentenced Ros Sokhet, 40, to two years in prison after convicting him of spreading disinformation by sending disparaging text messages to Soy Sopheap, a well-known CTN anchor.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the IFJ slammed the court for applying the “outdated” UNTAC Penal Code rather than the Kingdom’s more liberal 1995 Press Law.

“There are appropriate civil laws in place to resolve media-related complaints, and Cambodia’s Press Law should be applied to assist in their resolution,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park was quoted as saying.

The IFJ, which represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries, added that it stands “in solidarity” with Ros Sokhet and called on the government to ensure media complaints are dealt with under civil law.

Chhay Kong said he did not have time to comment Thursday, but during last Friday’s hearing, court deputy prosecutor Sok Roeun dismissed the argument of Ros Sokhet’s defence lawyer that the case should have been prosecuted under the Press Law.

“The law requires me to accuse the suspect of whatever charge, and the judge will decide in a hearing. The prosecutor always stands behind the plaintiff,” he said.

When contacted on Thursday, Ros Sokhet’s sister Ros Keaveak said she planned to file an appeal against the court’s conviction next week.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Covid in Kingdom hits ‘critical point’

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia has reached a critical point, the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned, as cases surge with two more deaths and 265 infections reported over the weekend. On March 28 alone, the Ministry of Health recorded 86 Covid-19 cases linked to the February 20

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Time to Rise by rapper, chapei legend is viral hit with ancient-modern mix

    Kong Nay is known internationally as the master of the chapei dang veng, a traditional Cambodian instrument resembling a long-necked lute or guitar with two nylon strings that he was already playing professionally by the age of 15. Nay is sometimes referred to as the Cambodian