World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Cambodia: Setback for Decriminalising Defamation

Setback for Decriminalising Defamation Campaign in Cambodia

International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called a joint statement by the head of the Cambodian Supreme Court and the Minister of Justice instructing all courts and judges to consider defamation a crime, a setback for the decriminalising defamation in Cambodia.

The statement issued on March 14, instructed all Cambodian courts to consider defamation as a serious crime that targets individuals or public figures and upsets the public order, national security and creates unrest and political instability.

The joint instruction contradicts prime minister, Hun Sen’s comments made on February 13 calling for defamation to be tried as a civil offence and that compensation is an appropriate solution for victims of defamation. The prime minister called for public education to help the public understand that freedom of expression is limited and should not cause harm to others.

“The joint instruction is a set back to the campaign for decriminalising defamation in Cambodia which was showing progress following prime minister Hun Sen’s comments and last week’s request by the foreign minister,” said IFJ president Christopher Warren.

In 2001, the foreign minister, Hor Nam Hong, sued three reporters from the Cambodia Daily, Kay Kimsong (Cambodia), Gina Chon (American), and Brain Mockenhaupt (American) for an article that accused him of heading the Khmer Rouge prison in Phnom Penh and that he had worked closely with the Khmer Rouge foreign Minister, Ieng Sary.

The Phnom Penh Court convicted the three reporters and fined then 2,500 USD each after Mr Hor Nam Hong denied the allegations.

Following the court decision, the foreign minister requested the court suspend the fine due to sympathy for the journalists who cannot afford to pay the fine.

“The IFJ and our affiliate in Cambodia, the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ) will continue our campaign for the removal of defamation from the criminal statutes and for the eradication of over inflated civil penalties,” said Warren.

”Reasonable civil remedies, combined with journalistic training, an independent press council to arbitrate disputes and quick apologies by media outlets are needed for a true reform of Cambodia’s defamation system,” said Warren.

“A journalist’s livelihood, by financial ruin or jailing, should never be threatened for doing his or her job of informing the public,” said Warren.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news