Cambodia: Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association's report reveals crackdown on press freedom with records of 35 cases of harassment against 72 journalists in 2020
"Online journalists most targeted in free press crackdown, report says", 29 March 2021
Journalists were subjected to violence, threats and criminal charges …, as the Cambodian government targeted the free press but did not investigate crimes against reporters and editors, according to a new report.
The Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association (CamboJA) released the report …, in which it recorded 35 cases of harassment against 72 journalists. The most common types of harassment against journalists were imprisonment, and violence, with online journalists, 64 of the 72, faced the brunt of the authorities’ intolerance to critical journalism.
The attacks against journalists were in part linked to the government’s crackdown on opinions and news critiquing the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year’s crackdown builds on one that started … that resulted in the closure or sale of independent news organizations in Cambodia.
“The Cambodian Criminal Code remains a powerful legal tool, which is too often used to intimidate and jail journalists,” the report reads.
The incitement to commit felony or extortion charges was most used against journalists facing criminal charges .... Ten journalists were still in prison on these charges, according to CamboJA…
Him Khortieth, research and advocacy manager at CamboJA, said authorities had not paid attention to cases where journalists were attacked and that journalists, who were harassed by officials, were often reporting on the illegal timber trade, land disputes or COVID-19.
“Authorities have not yet found any suspects to be penalized, especially when there was violence against journalists,” he said…