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20 Oct 2021

Khuon Narim & Sam Sopich, CamboJA

Cambodia: CamboJA's quarterly report reveals harassment against journalists and press freedom restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic

"21 journalists harassed in past three months, reports CamboJA", 20 October 2021

As the rest of society eases from pandemic restrictions, many Cambodian journalists are facing a tightening press landscape.

Such were the findings of the latest quarterly report of the Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association (CamboJA), which found at least nine recorded instances of free expression violations by the judiciary and local officials in just the past few months. These findings are detailed in its monitoring report released … and covering the period from July-September, when CamboJA observed incidents affecting a total of 21 journalists.

“I think this is a picture of the intimidation of journalists, which is not new and still happening,” said Nop Vy, executive director of CamboJA, in the report. “We should better train and educate [journalists] on ethics and professionalism, rather than continuing to threaten them.”

The report has also noted that digital press freedom has been curtailed amid the pandemic, as evidenced by the sharp increase in the number of ‘fake news’ accusations, revoked media licenses, threats and arrests that took place … related to COVID-19.

… Ith Sothoeuth, the media director of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM), said he appreciated CamboJA’s investigations of the press landscape in light of the ongoing harassment of journalists and restrictions of freedom of expression.

“That data emphasizes freedom of expression and journalists are threatened in Cambodia. [It is difficult for] independent journalists to fulfil their duty to report reliable news for the public,” he said…