Cambodia blocks 17 media websites before vote

Independent media sites taken offline for 48 hours as Cambodians prepare to vote on Sunday in a controversial election.


The Phnom Penh Post was among those taken offline for 48 hours by the government [Erin Handley/Al Jazeera]
The Phnom Penh Post was among those taken offline for 48 hours by the government [Erin Handley/Al Jazeera

Phnom Penh, Cambodia – The government blocked access to independent media websites just hours before polling in the country’s controversial national election begins.

Phos Sovann, director general of information and broadcasting at the Information Ministry, confirmed a total of 17 websites – including Voice of America, Radio Free Asia (RFA), Voice of Democracy, and the Phnom Penh Post – had been targeted.

“We requested to our committee members, along with the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Telecommunications, to close those websites down,” he said.

The National Election Committee requested political parties and media outlets to “remain silent” for a 24-hour period in advance of election day on Sunday.

The government edict comes a week after a sudden proliferation of WhatsApp groups, in which potentially hundreds of Cambodians found themselves added to chats through the Facebook-owned messenger service.


Five things to know about Cambodia’s general election

Sovann requested internet service providers to block the sites for 48 hours, while other news sites friendly to strongman Prime Minister Hun Sen‘s regime remained accessible online.

“We observed that the contents of those new media are provocative. Those contents are very political in their tendencies, and they are restricting to the election,” he said.

“I don’t think it’s unfair … It’s just for 48 hours before the election.”

Clamping down

The move comes during a political and media crackdown in Cambodia.

Opposition leader Kem Sokha was arrested on questionable allegations of treason in September last year and his party was dissolved by the Supreme Court – led by a member of the ruling party – leaving some three million voters disenfranchised and the election without a viable opposition.
Tiếp tục đọc “Cambodia blocks 17 media websites before vote”

Sexpat Journalists Are Ruining Asia Coverage: Newsroom predators in foreign bureaus hurt their colleagues — and their stories

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images/Foreign Policy illustration)

Today, I’m known as a strong advocate in my social circles, promoting women’s and minorities’ voices in media. But when I first moved to China seven years ago, as a 23-year-old Canadian reporter of Chinese ancestry, it was a different story. To some men in my professional network, I was a target, not a peer.

But the path from silent target to advocate has been a rocky one, a road signposted by incidents of harassment and aggression.

Once, a fellow journalist exited our shared taxi outside my apartment. I thought we were sharing a cab to our respective homes, but he had other expectations, and suddenly his tongue was in my face. On another evening, another journalist grabbed my wrist and dragged me out of a nightclub without a word. I was clearly too drunk to consent; it was a caveman approach to get me into bed while I was intoxicated. And on yet another occasion, in a Beijing restaurant, a Western public relations executive reached under my dress and grabbed my crotch.

Continue on FP >>

Internet Freedom Rapidly Degrading in Southeast Asia

Reprint |    |  Print |  |En español

PHNOM PENH, Feb 15 2018 (IPS) – Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.

The most remarkable evolution comes from Southeast Asia. A few years ago, this was a promising region. The economy was growing, democracy was on the rise. Malaysia had free elections, Indonesia started an anti-corruption campaign and the social rights of Cambodian garment workers were improving.

“A few years ago, social media were safe havens for activists. But today these media companies are too cooperative with the autocratic regimes.” –Ed Legaspi of the Southeast Asian Press Alliance

“Internet helped these movements grow,” says Madeline Earp, Asia research analyst with Freedom House. “All kinds of organisations and media started using internet more and more. That was hopeful.” Tiếp tục đọc “Internet Freedom Rapidly Degrading in Southeast Asia”

Nhà báo Hoàng Thiên Nga “lạt mềm buộc chặt”

02/03/2018 06:15

(HanoiTV) – Nhà báo Thiên Nga luôn bình tĩnh điều tra các vụ việc khó, kiên trì đưa lên mặt báo, bất chấp mọi đe dọa. Bởi chị bảo vệ lẽ phải theo cách “lạt mềm buộc chặt”.
Nhà báo Hoàng Thiên Nga xem xét đơn thư của bạn đọc sau Tết Mậu Tuất

Ngay sau tuần lễ nghỉ Tết Mậu Tuất, vừa trở lại công việc, nhà báo Hoàng Thiên Nga Trưởng ban đại diện báo Tiền phong khu vực Tây Nguyên đã bận rộn lọc thư bạn đọc nhiều “như bươm bướm”. Số lượng thư ngày càng nhiều theo năm tháng cho thấy mức độ tin yêu của người dân cao nguyên đối với nhà báo trọn đời đứng về phía lẽ phải.

Báo Tiền phong nhận định nhà báo Hoàng Thiên Nga là người nổi tiếng bền bỉ và kiên định trong đấu tranh chống tiêu cực.Chị đã giành được nhiều giải thưởng báo chí, trong đó có bốn giải báo chí Quốc gia.

Loạt bài “Tiêu cực trong đấu thầu dược phẩm”; “Lãng phí mua sắm trang thiết bị y tế tại ngành Y tế Đắk Lắk” của chị là “Tác phẩm báo chí chất lượng cao loại A năm 2015”, theo bình chọn của Hội Nhà báo tỉnh Đắk Lắk.

Hội Nhà báo Việt Nam đã tuyên dương, trao bằng khen về những thành tích xuất sắc cho nhà báo Hoàng Thiên Nga trong nhiều năm liền. Tiếp tục đọc “Nhà báo Hoàng Thiên Nga “lạt mềm buộc chặt””

Well-known Vietnamese journalist hounded, facing imminent arrest


Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns the Vietnamese government’s persecution of the journalist Pham Doan Trang and her family and calls for international pressure on the regime. After being picked up for questioning during the weekend, Trang is currently under house arrest and could be facing imminent arrest. RSF also urges the Vietnamese government to end its crackdown on independent journalists and bloggers or risk paying the consequences.

Tiếp tục đọc “Well-known Vietnamese journalist hounded, facing imminent arrest”

Cambodia shutters radio stations, expels US NGO

Al Jazeera Aug. 23, 2017

Khmer-language stations, Maha Nokor and Voice of Democracy, ordered closed as more media face legal threats.

Analysts said critical media are being targeted ahead of the 2018 polls [File: Reuters]

The government of Cambodia has shut down two independent radio stations and ordered the foreign staff of an American NGO to leave the country in the latest move against critics ahead of a general election next year.

The orders on Wednesday came a day after long-time Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened the Cambodia Daily, one of the country’s few remaining critical newspapers, with closure over an alleged unpaid tax bill of more than $6m, calling them “thieves”. Tiếp tục đọc “Cambodia shutters radio stations, expels US NGO”