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Union reports no election restrictions on media

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia says journalists were free to report on the election. KT/Cheang Sokha

The Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia yesterday said that journalists covering last month’s national election were able to operate with full freedom to disseminate news to the public, despite 17 media outlets being temporarily closed.

The UJFC issued a statement yesterday over the election atmosphere, thanking both national and international journalists accredited by the National Election Committee for adhering to the codes of professional journalism with dignity while reporting on the poll.

The association added that news outlets were able to publish their reports freely without any restriction or threats from authorities.

“No journalists were prevented from accessing information during political campaigns and no journalists were prevented from accessing information at any polling station across the country,” the statement said.

The UJFC also addressed a temporary ban placed on 17 outlets during the silent period prior to voting day, noting that the ban on publication was in accordance with the law on elections and adding that the outlets were still able to spread news via social media.

NEC spokesmen Dim Sovannarom could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Information Ministry spokesman Ouk Kimseng agreed that journalists were able to operate freely in the lead up to, during and after the election.

“We express admiration and satisfaction with the performance of all media in Cambodia,” he said. “However, some outlets need to be more careful with what they share on social media.”

“We will collaborate with private media related to social networks in order to make them understand the importance of using their freedom properly,” he added.

More than 1,200 national and international journalists from 161 outlets were officially recognised by the NEC the 2018 national election process.

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