Cambodia’s Sentencing of Journalist Over COVID-19 Comment a Threat to Freedoms, Media Groups Say

The conviction of a journalist who reported on comments that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen made publicly about COVID-19 is a threat to all reporters covering the pandemic, local media groups say.

A Phnom Penh court gave Sovann Rithy an 18-month sentence on Monday but ruled that the journalist, who has been in custody since April, be released for the remainder of the sentence.

Kuch Kimlong, a spokesperson for Phnom Penh Municipal Court, confirmed that Rithy, 31, who runs the news outlet TVFB on Facebook, was convicted of incitement and that he would be released.

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