Cambodian Journalism Review

Cambodian Democracy Is Quickly Sinking
October 21, 2007, 10:02 am
Filed under: Democracy

The Cambodia Daily

Monday, January 2, 2006


Cambodian Democracy Is Quickly Sinking


By Moeun Chhean Nariddh


e are extremely sad to learn that Cambodian Center for Human Rights President Kem Sokha and Community Legal Education Center Director Yeng Virak have been arrested and detained in Prey Sar Prison on defamation charges.

We feel that these arrests have continued to cause Cambodia’s democracy and freedom of expression – as well as press freedom, which is suffering the domino effect – to deteriorate at a worrying speed.

In this “political game,” the losers are not only those who have been convicted and those being jailed for defamation. The losers are also Cambodia and the Cambodian people as a whole.

Consequently, we are now losing what we have gained in the past decade in terms of our hope to build a democratic Cambodia with free press and free speech.

The side of the losers also includes the international community, which had spent more than $2 billion to organize the first UN-sponsored democratic elections in Cambodia in 1993.

Cambodian democracy is now like a submarine that has been repeatedly hit by torpedoes. The oxygen in this crippled submarine – like freedom of expression and press freedom – is fast running out.

Cambodia’s submarine of democracy urgently needs international emergency rescue assistance before it sinks to the bottom of the ocean.




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