The Cambodia News Bulletin, a bilingual weekly newspaper, can file a complaint in court if it disagrees with a decision to suspend the publication, said Khieu Kanharith, secretary of state at the Ministry of Information.
Cambodia News Bulletin Publisher Ouk Kim Seng has disputed the suspension, saying the paper was given no warnings about a possible suspension. He said he stands by the stories in his paper and he accused the Ministry of Information of violating the press law.
Khieu Kanharith said the paper was warned and he said he stands by his decision.
“If the paper doesn’t accept the suspension or think it was treated unfairly, it could file a complaint to the court,” Khieu Kanharith said Monday.
The Information Ministry accused the publication of “systematic defamation” and decided two weeks ago to suspend the Cambodia News Bulletin for 30 days. The ministry also ordered all printing houses not to publish the newspaper until further notice.
The more than 3-month-old newspaper had accused top officials of corruption and mismanagement.
“Maybe the ministry wants to muzzle us,” said Khieu Phirum, a newspaper staff member.
The Committee to Protect Journalists, an international press freedom group, criticized the suspension and urged the government to lift the order.