The following is a statement by the Cambodian Association for Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), a SEAPA partner based in Phnom Penh:
Declaration by the Cambodian Association for Protection of Journalists
World Press Freedom Day is celebrated across the globe every year on the 3rd of May, an opportunity to commemorate the fundamental principles of press freedom and to remember the journalists who have been jailed or killed in the line of duty. 2010’s World Press Freedom topic is “Freedom of Information: The Right to Know”.
On this occasion, the Cambodian Association for Protection of Journalists (CAPJ) would like to push the Cambodian government and all related institutions to facilitate access for journalists and allow them to cover the news freely, without discrimination against any particular institution. CAPJ strongly believes that protecting access to information allows dialogue between state institutions, the private sector and the public – a vital contribution to democratic governance
To promote freedom of information, CAPJ insists that all state institutions and private companies should have dedicated spokespersons who are available to the media. Whistle-blowers and others who provide information in the public interest should be protected, and journalists should be ethical and unbiased in their coverage of this information.
CAPJ takes this opportunity to welcome the release from jail of Mr. Hang Chakra, publisher and editor-in-chief of the “Khmer Machas Srok” newspaper, on 13 April 2010. CAPJ requests that relevant institutions, especially judicial institutions, use the Press Law in cases involving complaints filed against members of the media in the course of their work. CAPJ also implores the government to intervene in the case of Mr. Ros Sokhet. Currently, he is incarcerated at Prey Sar prison due to a defamation conviction. He should be released to demonstrate clearly that Cambodia respects freedom of expression.
The Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), a SEAPA partner, is a Phnom Penh-based organization that aims to protect the welfare of Cambodian journalists and promote press freedom in the country. For further information please contact: Neth Pheaktra, firstname.lastname@example.org; Um Sarin, email@example.com; and Khieu Phirum, Kphirum@gmail.com.