Legal Protection Only for Ethical Journalists

Samdech Techo Sen legal aid team will offer legal services to defend only the journalists who abide by ethical standards, said government's lawyer council president and head of the team H.E. Ky Tech.

The president highlighted the practice endorsed earlier by Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, during a discussion meeting with senior information delegation at the Ministry of Information yesterday.

The discussion followed a decision by Samdech Techo Prime Minister during the 4th annual get-together with journalists on Jan. 14 to provide legal assistance to any journalists facing charge � a move to encourage the journalists to fully exercise their professional role to further promote democracy and development in the Kingdom.

Subject to further discussion, entitlement of ethical journalists was agreed to be those belonging to media institutions registered at the Ministry of Information and well complying with professional code of conducts as well as concerned laws and regulations in Cambodia.

Minister of Information H.E. Khieu Kanharith who led the information delegation during the meeting proposed that any journalists facing legal charge seeking services from Samdech Techo Sen legal aid team should go through the ministry first.

The minister also planned to organise dissemination workshop on the legal service provision to journalists across Cambodia in a near future.

According to H.E. Ky Tech, there are now 67 volunteer lawyers and their permanent representation has been stationed at all 25 capital and provinces in Cambodia.

Both the Ministry of Information and Samdech Techo Sen legal aid team are optimistic that the free legal services offered will contribute to fostering ethical journalism in Cambodia amidst the full swing of social media and spreading fake news and misinformation.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press