fredag 2. april 2021

Cambodian Journalists Face Violence, Threat of Legal Action: Media Watchdog

Journalists in Cambodia are regularly subjected to physical violence and legal action on the job, undermining their role in a democratic society and their ability to cover stories involving powerful officials, according to a new report by Cambodian media watchdog CamboJA.

In its annual Cambodian Journalism Situation Report, CamboJA said it recorded 35 cases of harassment against 72 journalists in 2020, based on news reports, social media posts, court documents and interviews, and that more than 42 of them were detained for questioning or imprisoned. At least 22 journalists were either attacked or threatened with violence while working, the group said, and one journalist died in what police concluded was a traffic accident without carrying out what it termed a “proper investigation.”

According to CamboJA, Cambodian authorities continued to use the threat of legal action to intimidate journalists in 2020, particularly the charges of “incitement to commit felony” or “extortion” under Articles 495 and 232 of the Criminal Code. As of December, at least 10 journalists remain in prison in the country, eight of whom are in pre-trial detention for criminal charges, it said.