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Article

10 Nov 2020

Author:
Hul Reaksmey, VOA

Cambodia: Local & international rights groups call on the govt. to cease judicial harassment against & attacks on journalists

"Cambodia Must End Legal Attacks on Media, Rights Groups Say", 9 November 2020

The Cambodian government has come under criticism by rights groups over what they describe as a “relentless attack” on press freedom including arrests, repressive laws and the revoking of media licenses.

A statement released … - the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists - and signed by 57 rights groups and communities, called for an end to attacks on the right of free expression and journalists critical of the Cambodian government.

Cambodia-based news organizations have faced a growing number of legal attacks …, when the government dissolved the only opposition party, harassed local nongovernmental groups, and forced the closure of independent media organizations. Since then, reporters have been arrested for their coverage or accused of espionage and incitement.

The statement lists at least 13 journalists who have faced court complaints for their news coverage and the revocation of four media licenses during the coronavirus pandemic for allegedly sharing fake news…

Nop Vy, who runs the local Cambodian Journalists Alliance (CamboJA), said there had been an escalation in attacks, detentions and charges against journalists, especially those who did not promote a pro-government lean in their coverage…

Phil Robertson, deputy director for Asia at Human Rights Watch, said Cambodia’s transition to a de facto one-party state …, when the ruling Cambodian People’s Party won all parliamentary seats, had only exacerbated the persecution of journalists

“Independent media are very important for questioning government policies, investigating corruption and malfeasance, and demanding transparency and accountability from the government,” he said in an email…

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