Cambodian leader says radio station closures are permanent

Cambodian leader says radio station closures are permanent

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (AP) — A day after one in all Cambodia’s few unbiased media shops was shut down by his order, Prime Minister Hun Sen stated Tuesday that the Voice of Democracy radio station can be reopened regardless of pleas and protests. Opening won’t be allowed. Worldwide .

Voice of Democracy, generally known as VOD, was shut down on Monday after Hun Sen stated it didn’t correctly apologize for a narrative it claimed advised his son Lt. Normal Hun Manet was condemned. Because the story goes, his son signed a doc on his father’s behalf authorizing a $100,000 donation to Turkey’s earthquake aid efforts.

Hun Sen stated that the article misrepresented details and that solely the prime minister had the best to make choices about international assist. VoD admitted that he had made a mistake, however Hun Sen stated that his testimony was unsatisfactory.

Cambodia’s info ministry stated on Monday that VoD’s license can be revoked “because it seriously violates the ethics of professional journalism and has failed to make any reforms under the press law, harming the honor and reputation of the government.” “

Hun Sen has dominated Cambodia harshly for 38 years and has stated he needs Hun Manet, who can also be a military commander, as his successor.

VoD has reported extensively on delicate points, similar to land grabs and prison gangs utilizing the Web with digital impunity involving workers, particularly foreigners, who are tricked into working in servile circumstances. do scams.

The closure of VoD sparked a wave of criticism from rights teams and a few Western governments.

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Many famous that this motion has been taken forward of the final elections due in July. An identical crackdown had taken place on the media forward of the final election in 2018. On the time, a controversial pre-election courtroom choice additionally disbanded the one credible opposition drive, the Cambodia Nationwide Rescue Celebration. Hun Sen’s Cambodian Folks’s Celebration finally received all seats within the Nationwide Meeting.

“It is a blatant try to slam the door on what stays of unbiased media within the nation and a stark warning to different essential voices months forward of a nationwide election. Hana Younger, deputy regional director of Amnesty Worldwide, stated the prime minister ought to instantly withdraw this “persistent and inconsistent” order.

US State Division spokesman Ned Worth advised reporters in Washington on Monday that the closure was “especially important given the impact on freedom of expression and access to information ahead of the national election in July.”

UN Human Rights chief Volker Turk additionally expressed his concern over the withdrawal of VOD licenses.

“I call on the Cambodian government to reverse this very troubling decision, protect everyone’s civil and political rights, and ensure an enabling environment for civil society, including independent media,” he stated in a press release.

Hun Sen warned international international locations to not intervene in Cambodia’s inner affairs in a press release printed on the social messaging platform Telegram on Tuesday. He stated that he wouldn’t change his thoughts about discontinuing VOD.

“Closing down an unprofessional radio station will not destroy freedom of expression in Cambodia, but in addition, it will help strengthen Cambodia’s professional journalism sector,” he stated.

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Hun Sen stated he was involved that VOD workers misplaced their jobs due to the fault of their heads and that they might be given the chance to use as civil servants in varied ministries based on their expertise.

Sophia Chiang, The Related Press


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