Facebook Can’t Fill Information Gap Left by Cambodia’s State-controlled Media

A defamation trial pitting Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen against veteran opposition leader Sam Rainsy which opened in Paris at the start of September highlights the dangers of state media control and digital authoritarianism.

Hun Sen, who has ruled the country since 1985, claims that Sam Rainsy, who has dual French and Cambodian nationality, defamed him on Facebook in 2019. Sam Rainsy said that the prime minister was responsible for the deaths of Cambodian trade union leader Chea Vichea in 2004 and national police chief Hok Lundy in 2008, which Hun Sen denies.

The case, which opened on Sept. 1, was heard by the 17th chamber of the Tribunal Judiciaire in Paris, which considers media-related cases. The court is due to reach an initial decision on the substance of Hun Sen’s claims on Oct. 10. Whatever the decision, the case highlights that tightening state control over the media and the Internet leaves a small to vanishing space in which Cambodians can criticise their government.

In full: https://thegeopolitics.com/facebook-cant-fill-information-gap-left-by-cambodias-state-controlled-media/

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