Censured Newspaper, Radio Resume Today

Two media outlets cen­sured for allegedly broadcasting or printing false information during Jan 29 anti-Thai riots will restart operations today, officials said on Sun­day.

The Rasmei Angkor (Light of Angkor) newspaper and Beehive ra­dio, which each reported $3,000 in lost advertising sales during the two weeks they were not operating, will re­sume regular broadcasts and printing today, officials from both organizations said.

“We will continue our policy as before,” said En Chan Sivatha, editor in chief of Rasmei Ang­kor. The editor, who was released from Prey Sar prison on Tues­day, is charged with printing the first story claming that Thai actress Su­va­nant Kong­ying said Ang­kor Wat should be re­turned to Thailand—a re­portedly false story that contributed to the anti-Thai sentiment that fueled the riots.

“Our newspaper will print stories about the in­­active government of­fi­cials and corruption to inform the government so it can take action against those things,” En Chan Sivatha said on Sunday.

Mam Sonando, director and founder of Bee­hive Radio, said on Sun­day that Beehive will broadcast today from 6 am to 10:30 pm.

“Our station will continue to encourage the democratic pro­cess and will broadcast true information,” Mam Sonando said.

The Municipal Court of Phnom Penh has charged Mam Sonando with broadcasting re­ports that the Cam­bo­dian Embassy in Bang­kok was destroyed on the night of Jan 29—false re­ports that the gov­ernment alleges in­cit­ed peo­ple to riot in Phnom Penh and de­stroy Thai businesses.

Mam Sonando said he is innocent of the charges.

The government halted Bee­hive’s programming shortly after the riots and replaced it with Cambodian music.

Secretary of State for the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion Khieu Kan­harith said on Sunday that Ras­mei Angkor and Bee­hive Radio had permission to rebroadcast.

“Both [media outlets] have to respect the journalistic code of ethics and broadcast true information,” Khieu Kan­ha­rith said. “They have to check information be­fore they print or broadcast it to ensure it is true.”

 

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