Cambodian Journalism Review

Cambodian Press Is Not That Free
October 21, 2007, 10:10 am
Filed under: Press Freedom

Letter to the editor, The Cambodia Daily

December 6, 2005

 Cambodian Press Is Not That Free

I hope it’s not too late but I’d like to extend my “congratulations” to Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government for receiving in recent months a high ranking by Reporters Without Borders for their performance in the respect of press freedom and freedom of expression.

 However, I’m afraid that the future ranking of Cambodia on the press freedom scale may be affected following the arrests and imprisonment of radio manager Mam Sonando and Independent Teachers Association President Rong Chhun as well as the arrest warrants issued against other border treaty critics.

 I understand Hun Sen and the government have the right to sue any journalists or individuals when he feels that his and his government’s reputation has been damaged by the false reports regarding the supplementary border treaty with Vietnam.

 Nonetheless, the arrests and imprisonments have caused a very bad image for Cambodia as a democratic country.

 The international community, local and international human rights and media groups and, especially Cambodian journalists, are increasingly concerned about press freedom and freedom of expression in Cambodia since the moves made against border critics.

 It should be time that Mam Sonando and Rong Chhun are released from prisons and other lawsuits against border critics are dropped.

 I certainly believe that Hun Sen and the government can make the international ranking of Cambodia’s press freedom and freedom of expression even higher in the future if Hun Sen can release Mam Sonando and Rung Chhun and drop all charges against all border critics.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh

Phnom Penh





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