Cambodia Closes Independent Media Outlet
The Cambodian government has recently caused an uproar among international observers by closing down an independent media outlet in the country. The Cambodia Daily, a long-running newspaper, was shut down on Sunday, September 3, 2017, after the government accused it of owing millions of dollars in back taxes. The move has been widely condemned by human rights groups who argue that it is an attempt to stifle freedom of the press in Cambodia.
The government’s decision to close the Cambodia Daily has been widely seen as politically motivated. The newspaper had been a major source of criticism of the government’s policies and its closure appears to be an attempt to silence dissenting voices. The Cambodian government has also been widely criticized for its efforts to suppress civil society and democratic processes in the country.
Criticism From International Community
The closure of the Cambodia Daily has been met with strong condemnation from the international community. The UN Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein condemned the move, saying it was a “direct attack on the media in Cambodia and another attempt to stifle freedom of expression in the country”. Other international organizations, including the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists, have also voiced their criticism of the government’s actions.
The international outcry has led to calls for the Cambodian government to reverse its decision and for the release of the Cambodia Daily’s staff. The US State Department has called on the government to ensure freedom of the press in the country and to allow the Cambodia Daily to resume its operations. The European Union has also issued a statement expressing its concern about the closure of the newspaper.
Implications For Press Freedom
The closure of the Cambodia Daily has raised fears that press freedom in Cambodia is under threat. The newspaper had been a major source of information about the political situation in the country and its closure may have a chilling effect on other independent media outlets. The Cambodian government has denied that it is trying to stifle freedom of the press, but the international community remains unconvinced.
Cambodian Government Defends Closure
The Cambodian government has defended its decision to close the Cambodia Daily, arguing that the newspaper had failed to pay its taxes. The government has also accused the newspaper of deliberately publishing false information and has said that it had no choice but to close it down. However, the government’s claims have been met with skepticism from the international community, who argue that the closure of the newspaper is being used as a tool to suppress freedom of the press.
Cambodia’s Press Freedom Record
The Cambodia Daily’s closure is the latest episode in a long history of government repression of the press in the country. The Cambodian government has long been accused of using the legal system to harass journalists, and the country was recently ranked as the fourth worst in the world for press freedom. The closure of the Cambodia Daily is likely to further damage the country’s reputation in this regard.
Freedom Of Expression Under Threat
The closure of the Cambodia Daily is a serious blow to freedom of expression in Cambodia. The newspaper had been a major source of independent news and information in the country and its closure is likely to have a chilling effect on other media outlets. The international community must put pressure on the Cambodian government to reverse its decision and to ensure the protection of freedom of the press in the country.