Cambodia Urged to Use Civil Law for Media Complaints

The International

Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is dismayed by a decision of the Phnom Penh Court in

Cambodia

to overlook the country’s civil Press Law in dealing with a complaint against freelance

journalist Ros Sohket.

 

According

to the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), an IFJ

affiliate, the court applied an outdated law from the interim United Nations Transitional

Authority of Cambodia (UNTAC) to sentence Sokhet to two years’ jail for disinformation

on November 6.

 

UNTAC was

instituted by a United Nations peacekeeping mission to Cambodia in 1992-93 to support the

country’s democratic transition.

 

In 1995, Cambodia’s National Assembly formally adopted Cambodia’s

Press Law, which allows for media complaints to be dealt with as a civil matter.

 

“There

are appropriate civil laws in place to resolve media-related complaints, and Cambodia’s

Press Law should be applied to assist in their resolution,” IFJ Asia-Pacific

Director Jacqueline Park said.

 

The IFJ stands

in solidarity with CAPJ in calling on Cambodia’s Government to take

action to ensure media complaints are dealt with only under civil law.

 

Correction

 

The

original version of this statement referred to a charge of “defamation” against

Ros Sohket. This is incorrect. He was charged with “disinformation”.

 

 

For further

information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents over 600,000 journalists in

120 countries worldwide