Ministry refutes HRW report on freedom of the press in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH: The Ministry of Information dismisses Human Rights Watch’s (HRW) recent report on press freedom in Cambodia, labelling it a “failure” to accurately portray the country’s reality.

According to its “World Report 2024” released on Jan 11, US-based HRW claims the Cambodian government tightly controls media, with independent outlets “facing continuous harassment and threats of closure”.

Ministry spokesperson Tep Asnarith asserted that the HRW report’s conclusion, which focuses on only one facet of Cambodia’s entire development, lacks comprehensive balance.

He sees the report as lacking information, biased, intentionally degrading the sector and defaming the efforts, achievements and reputation of the government.

“In Cambodia, freedom of the press, expression and information is guaranteed by the Constitution, our supreme law, along with existing laws and regulations,” he said.

He noted that journalists across the country fulfil their roles by collecting, producing and sharing information freely and safely. They also report transparently, earning trust and support from the public.

He also underscored that these aspects signify the media’s growth and improved development under the leadership of the government across mandates.

He pointed out that in the current mandate, the government is committed to safeguarding freedom of expression and the press, promoting media as an essential partner for socio-economic and democratic development.

“I appreciate journalists for upholding ethical standards, fulfilling their roles without infringing on others’ rights or dignity. They steer clear of political agendas, prioritise national interests and fulfil their obligations within the boundaries of the law,” he said.

“As for journalists or media outlets breaching the code of ethics, they must shoulder legal responsibility in accordance with the rule of law,” Asnarith said. - The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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Cambodia , press , freedom , HRW


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