Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Students demand to see internet law

Students demand to see internet law

Students demand to see internet law

More than 200 university students yesterday called on the government to publicly release the latest version of the controversial cybercrime law, amid fears it will lead to a clampdown on their currently unrestricted use of social media sites like Facebook.

While a draft of the law was leaked earlier this year, the government needs to clarify what stage the law is at, Soeung Saroeun, executive director of the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia, which represents NGOs, told students at a Cambodian Youth Network (CYN) forum.

“We don’t know where it is. First, we heard it was within the Council of Ministers, and later with the Ministry of Telecommunications, then with the Ministry of Interior,” he said.

“Then we heard it was being reviewed by a son of Prime Minister Hun Sen [Hun Manet] who has counterterrorism expertise.”

The CYN also released a statement calling on the government to consult with the public on the law.

“This draft law does not fully respect human rights in terms of freedom of expression,” the statement says, adding that as proposed chairman of the National Anti-Cybercrime Committee, the law’s implementation would be subject to the “political will” of Hun Sen.

Chun Srey Phea, a 22-year-old philosophy student at the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said provisions in the leaked draft, which would criminalise content undermining “political cohesiveness” and “nonfactual” content that affects the “integrity” of government agencies, had left her concerned.

“I like to share information from the Facebook pages of Radio Free Asia and Voice of America and also criticise the government for failing to solve this or that,” she said.

“I’m not scared; however, if a law is passed, it will affect my right to express my opinion.”

Neither Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan nor Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Prak Sokhon could be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by

  • Kingdom rejects VN request

    Cambodia rebuffed Vietnam’s request to provide nationality to its citizens living in Kratie, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces, with officials saying law enforcement is the Kingdom’s responsibility. Chheang Vun, the head of the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation,

  • Smoke from mattress factory fire seen throughout Phnom Penh

    Plumes of black smoke overtook the skies of the capital as an inferno burned Heng Heng Mattress factory to the ground in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. The fire began in the main building of the facilities around 1pm, before spreading to adjoining residential buildings

  • Official transferred after pointing at car with foot

    The deputy director of the Siem Reap provincial Registration and Driver’s Licence Unit at the Department of Public Works and Transport who last week pointed at the number plate of a car taken in for a technical check with her foot has been transferred.