Paper Closed For Damaging Public Security

Cambodia’s leading opposition newspaper Moneaksekar Khmer [Khmer Conscience] was order­ed shut for one month on Friday for publishing an article critical of the Funcinpec party, officials said.            The daily newspaper was ordered closed by the Ministry of Infor­mation who charged the publishers with writing articles threatening to public security.

Moneaksekar Khmer criticized the royalist party on Thursday, claiming the party was poised to sack Funcinpec member Thach Sang, the self-confessed leader of the outlawed Kampuchea Krom National Liberation Front.

Editor-in-Chief Dam Set Hek said the article headlined “Funcin­pec Plans to Cut its Flesh and Offer to the Crocodile Because it Fears Vietnamese Power and its Puppet,” was similar to other news reports on the topic, and they had not caused instability.

“They did not use the law to close my newspaper, they used power to shut me down,” Dam Set Hek said.

“There is no law to close a news­paper to punish it for writing an article,” he said.

Dam Set Hek said he would not accept the 30-day ban and would continue to publish if a printing house was willing to take on the work.

Oum Daravuth, the secretary of state at the Information Minis­try who signed the closure order, would not comment on Friday.

However Hun Verak, a department deputy-director at the ministry, said the article encouraged social instability.

“This is a warning for this [news­paper] and other newspapers to stop publishing articles like this,” Hun Verak said.

Last month Dam Sith Hek was sentenced to five years probation for defamation, ordered to pay the Municipal Court a 1 million riel (about $250) fine and Fun­cin­pec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh 100 riel ($0.03).

Dam Sith Hek was found guilty of defaming the prince in a series of scathing articles in 2000 that referred to the National Assemb­ly leader as “President of the Chicken-ass Parliament,” and the “most tricky prince.”

 

 

 

 

 

Cambodia’s boisterous Khmer-language newspapers have recently come under mounting pressure with threatened closures and several libel cases launched against journalists and newspaper editors.

 

Opposition Paper Shut For Provoking Instability

By Yun Samean

the cambodia daily

 

h Sang, the self-confessed leader of paper to punish it for writing an article,” he said.

Dam Set Hek said he would not accept the 30-day ban and would continue to publish if a printing house was willing to take on the work.

Oum Daravuth, the secretary of state at the Information Ministry who signed the closure order, would not comment on Friday.

However Hun Verak, a department deputy-director at the ministry, said the article encouraged social instability and newspapers must be cautioned away from such stories.

“This is a warning for this [newspaper] and other newspapers to stop publishing articles like this,” Hun Verak said.

Last month Dam Sith Hek was sentenced to five years probation for defamation, ordered to pay the Municipal Court a1 million riel (around $250) fine and Funcinpec leader Prince Norodom Ranariddh 100 riel ($0.03).

Dam Sith Hek was found guilty of defaming the prince in a series of scathing articles in 2000 that referred to the National Assembly leader as “President of the Chicken-ass Parliament,” and the “most tricky prince.”

Cambodia’s boisterous Khmer-language newspapers have recently come under mounting pressure with threatened closures and several libel cases launched against journalists and newspaper editors.

 

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