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According to the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), an IFJ affiliate, the court applied an outdated law from the interim United Nations Transitional Authority of Cambodia (UNTAC) to sentence Sokhet to two years’ jail for disinformation on November 6.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.
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