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Article

4 Mag 2021

Author:
Khuon Narim, CamboJA

Cambodia: Govt. warn journalists of reporting in lockdown and medical treatment areas amid COVID-19 community transmissions

"Information Ministry warns journalists against ‘ambulance chasing’ after video of long waits for COVID-19 patients goes viral", 4 May 2021

One day after Press Freedom Day, the Information Ministry … issued a letter to journalists warning them that violations of COVID-19 measures could result in legal actions. Though the statement made no mention of specific cases, it came a day after a Facebook livestream showing COVID-19 patients and ambulances waiting for hours to enter a government treatment center went viral.

“To keep the safety of society and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community, the Ministry of Information would like to suggest to stop all activities stated above. In case the violation of this announcement, [you] will be responsible according to the existing law”, read the announcement…

Information Ministry spokesman Meas Sophorn said the ministry will take legal action against any journalists who have violated COVID-19 guidelines…

“It is not violating the rights of press freedom if they have followed the law,” he said, adding that additional restrictions on media during the pandemic are aimed only at curbing the spread of COVID-19…

On World Press Freedom Day, a number of civil society groups and media associations said Cambodia was facing a worsening media environment as a result of an ongoing government crackdown on independent media, including threats, violence and the imprisonment of journalists…

Nop Vy, executive director of the Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association, expressed concern that freedom of the press remains under threat, especially during the pandemic…

Ith Sothoeuth, media director at the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, echoed Vy, saying that independent journalists play an important role in democratic society…

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