Cambodian govt accused of silencing critics of Covid efforts

A group of 12 non-governmental organizations have accused the Cambodian government of silencing public criticism of its Covid-19 program and harsh lockdown measures amid a communal outbreak which has claimed at least 183 lives.

They said authorities had placed a “de facto ban” on independent reporting in Phnom Penh’s red zones — areas deemed to be high risk for Covid-19 transmission — and arrested dozens of individuals for expressing critical opinions about the government’s response.

“These actions are consistent with the government’s systematic and relentless crackdown on freedom of expression and information spanning far beyond the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. This latest surge contributes to the government’s broader efforts to silence all critical voices in Cambodia,” they said.

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