The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Nations Office and other International Organisations at Geneva has issued a press statement underling, “Cambodia advocates professional journalism, which neither violates the rights of others nor twists the fact”.
The full press statement dated Feb. 21 reads as follows:
“It is with deep regret that three Special Rapporteurs (SR) have subscribed to a biased and prejudiced narrative as to the nature of a foreign-funded radio centre in the Kingdom. The Permanent Mission of Cambodia is compelled to share the facts below.
1. An administrative action against a rule-breaking entity does not merit any concern at all. What should be alarming is the mounting disinformation and intentional slanders, which are condemned by law in every country. The media outlet in question engaged in spreading fake news and fabricating Cambodia’s internal affairs on humanitarian assistance delivery.
2. The SR’s biased remarks purposefully overlooked an indisputable fact that the media centre grossly breached profession of journalism, harmed honour and prestige of Cambodian government, and refused to amend mistakes based on the provisions of the Law on Press Regime. Its Article 10 (b) stipulates, “In case of a public figure, any false allegation or imputation, which the journalist publishes or reproduces with malicious intent against such public figure, is libel and is prohibited.”
3. To allege that the said measure leaves no free media outlets operating in the country is unfounded and highly political. Freedom of expression and media remains alive and dynamic. Ordinary people are being empowered through their unhindered access to mobile internet at the lowest cost in the region. Their voices are further amplified by the robust presence of nearly 2,000 digital and traditional media outlets, including the critical ones, which enjoy a guarantee of sources confidentiality and no censorship.
4. A purported “independent” status is not a licence to break the law with impunity nor to evade responsibility and accountability. The legitimate move against an unprofessional media outlet does not undermine the vibrant press freedom in the Kingdom, but contributes to the strengthening of profession of journalism.
5. Cambodia advocates professional journalism, which neither violates the rights of others nor twists the fact, and is committed to holding of the upcoming national elections in a free, fair and just manner, the ones fully reflective of the people’s will.”
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press