26 July 1996


Government refuses to authorise the creation of new radio and television stations and newspapers

On 17 July 1996, Minister of Information Ieng Mouly announced
that the government would not authorise the creation of any new
radio or television stations. He cited already crowded airwaves
as the reason; however, the decision follows repeated attempts to
block opposition parties from setting up radio and television
stations. Secretary of State Khieu Kanharith claimed that the ban
would only affect the capital, Phnom Penh, adding that, in
principle, it only concerns stations that belong to political
parties. Nevertheless, since the major pro-government media
outlets are based in Phnom Penh, the decision will effectively
muzzle the opposition in the capital, a troubling development
since municipal elections are to take place in 1997, while
national elections are set for 1998.

Meanwhile, on 18 July, another government directive issued by the
Minister of Information announced the suspension for an
indefinite period of time of the establishment of any new
newspaper in Cambodia.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • expressing concern that the measures taken by the Ministry of
    Information will penalise only certain media outlets and cause an
    unequal access to the media and the free flow of information
  • urging that management of the airwaves and of the press be done
    according to the internationally recognised rights of freedom of
    information and press freedom

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Prince Norodom Ranariddh
    First Prime Minister
    Office of the Council of Ministers
    Phnom Penh, Cambodia
    Fax: +855 23 26144

    H.E. Chea Sim
    President of the National Assembly
    Fax: +855 23 27769

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris, France
    rsf (@) rsf.org

    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
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