The blossoming friendship between China and the Cambodian government has become so close that a Chinese majority-owned, Khmer Language television station has built studios directly inside the Ministry of Interior in Phnom Penh. It’s a peculiar joint venture that comes as western-backed news outfits are being shutdown or harassed ahead of a national election in July.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court again delayed a defamation trial against Cambodia Daily Deputy Publisher Deborah Krisher-Steele on Thursday, with the presiding judge saying he needed time to consider the grounds for the complaint and a defence motion to summons the government-aligned online news outlet Fresh News.
The proposal has stoked fears of censorship in Cambodia, where curbs to press freedom have increased in recent years. Many believe the new law could target those critical of the government. Ate Hoekstra reports.
A ruling party spokesman on Thursday said the Cambodian government is looking to draft a "fake news" law, the same week similar legislation was introduced in Malaysia.
A Cambodian court has charged two journalists with producing pornography in addition to espionage charges they already face for filing news reports to a U.S.-funded radio station, their lawyer said on Thursday.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Thursday morning opened proceedings in the defamation trial against the deputy publisher of The Cambodia Daily, but deferred its conclusion after an hour-long hearing brought up procedural issues relating to translations and a court summons in the case brought by the country's Tax Department.
A large tax bill handed down to the Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia’s last remaining independent English-language newspaper, is part of an ongoing, “perfectly routine” audit negotiation process rather than an attack on free press, according to the paper’s CEO, Marcus Holmes. He added that such audits were hitting businesses across the country in a government effort to strictly enforce the years-old tax law.
The chief executive of Cambodia's oldest independent news outlet, Marcus Holmes, says the Phnom Penh Post is not in danger of closing down, despite reports to the contrary.
Cambodia's last bastion of independent daily news, The Phnom Penh Post, is facing closure after being hit with a huge tax bill, making it the latest casualty in a government crackdown on the media, sources close to the newspaper say.
While just six months ago journalist Yeang Sothearin was chasing stories on politics and rights abuses in Cambodia, the former Radio Free Asia (RFA) reporter now spends his days inside an overcrowded cell in Phnom Penh's squalid Prey Sar prison.
Land rights organisation Equitable Cambodia (EC) has been allowed to resume its activities after months of uncertainty following an ostensibly 30-day suspension.