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Harassment of Media

Methodology : The information published here by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) is public information on potential cases of restrictions on freedom of expression in relation to the media in Cambodia, gathered from news media in Khmer or English and relevant publications by non-governmental and other organizations between 2008 to 2011. The number of sources relied upon varies from case to case. In certain cases, the information presented is gathered from a single source – usually a news report. Some of the cases are likely to have more information that CCHR could not gather as they have not been reported on. Where information has been made available in relation to how the cases have been resolved, this information has been provided. CCHR does not contend that the information presented here is conclusive. Rather the information represented through this mapping represents a snapshot of the tactics and instances used to stifle free expression of the media in Cambodia.

Definitions

In order to provide a clear understanding of the situation of the media in Cambodia, CCHR has classified the information into the following areas:

Censorship Alleged/Direct Censorship: The publication or the journalist was restricted in relation to publishing⛎.

Violence Violence/Alleged Violence: Violence was used against the journalist in🐈 the course of him/her researching, inꦓtending to publish or publishing a story.

Harassment Harassment/Alleged Harassment: The journalist was harassed in the course of him/her researching, in𓃲tending to publish or pꦦublishing a story.

Confiscation Confiscation/Alleged Confiscation of Private Property: The confiscation of propert🦂y that is being used in the course of researching a story, such as notebooks, cameras and voice🃏 recorders.

Threat Threat/use of criminal procedure: The journalist was threatened with criminal charges, arrested or charged with criminal provisions in the course of him/her researching or intending to publish a story, or in respect of the content ဣof a story already published. Included in alleged criminal charges are extortion related cases. It should be noted that in relation to these cases at times extortion claims have been brought against journalists as an act of intimidation or harassment to stop them from reporting on cases, particularly in relation to illegal logging. However, there are equally legitimate claims of journalists🥂 extorting money not to run a story. The extortion cases in this research should be considered bearing in mind these two issues.*

procedure Threat/use of civil procedure: The journalist was threatened and/or charged with civil law provisions in the courseཧ of him/her researching or intending to publish a story, or in respect of the 𝕴content of a story already published.

Other Other: There are instances where the nature of the infringement on fre🍨e expression of the media or the journalist does not fit into any of the preceding definitions these include detention without criminal charge.

* Please note that prior to the Penal Code coming into full force and effect in December 2010, extortion could only be prosecuted un💝der Article 12(1) of the Press Law. Consequently, in most pre-Penal Code recorded instances, the journalists were charged with fraud or deception under Article 45 of the UNTAC criminal code. Neverthele🌜ss, the news stories often referred to “extortion” and discuss alleged facts of the case that CCHR would consider as "extortion."

Analysis of Freedom of Expression and the Media Cases

The study conducted by CCHR examined incidents involving individuals working throughout the media industry, including journalists, publishers, television presenters and photographers. The study found a total of 123 reported cases involving freedom of expression and the media from the end of 2007 to December 2011, involving 257 different freedom of expression related acts. These cases affected a total of 18 Provinces. Over 50% of the reported cases occurred in the two largest cities in Cambodia, Phnom Penh (40.6%) and Siem Reap (16.2%). The provinces that Prey Lang forest touches (Kampong Thom, Kratie, Preah Vihear and Steung Treng) amounted to 16.2% of the entire reported cases. 12.1% of reported cases were found in provinces along the Vietnamese border (Ratanakiri, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Kandal and Takeo). The table below sets out the type of act and the number of acts and the year in which it occurred.