Cambodian Journalism Review

Journalists Urge Court to Respect Press Law
December 2, 2007, 4:16 am
Filed under: Press Freedom

Journalists Association Urges Court to Respect Press Law over Publisher’s Ruling

by Moeun Chhean Nariddh


The Club of Cambodian Journalists (CCJ) has expressed deep concern over the court ruling against the publisher of a pro-royalist newspaper, who was charged with disinformation over a story alleging the illegal sale of the Phnom Penh City Hall.

 “CCJ considers the decision by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court an injustice and a serious violation of people’s rights and freedom of expression,” reads the statement quoted by Reasmei Kampuchea newspaper on November 30.

 The CCJ’s statement demands the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to respect the 1995 Cambodian Press Law which states that: “No person shall be arrested or subject to criminal charges as result of expression of opinion.”

 On November 28, Keo Sothea, Publisher and Editor of Samleng Yuvachun Khmer (Voice of the Khmer Youth) newspaper, was summoned by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to provide his testimony over the disinformation charge concerning SYK’s July 17 article which alleged that Phnom Penh Mayor Kep Chuktema had sold the City Hall to a private developer.

 Sothea was charged under Article 62 of the UNTAC’s Provisional Criminal code and was required to pay 2 million riel (about $500) to avoid detention. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court released the editor the same day after he had paid the bail.


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