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Union of Journalist Federations: UNHRC Made Unfair Assessment on State of Freedom of Expression in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH: The Union of Journalist Federations of Cambodia (UJFC) has released a press statement on the periodic report by the UN Human Rights committee (UNHRC) on Cambodia, which the UJFC says is biased, without clear evidence, and ignores the broader truth and urgent needs of the people.

The UJFC claims the report cherry-picks issues and ignores the growth, stating that freedom of the press in Cambodia has dramatically improved in peace time compared to the years of protracted war. The UJFC points out having full access to information online and through social media platforms allows people in Cambodia to make independent assessment of the world around them and express freely their views.

The union justifies that the rise of citizen journalism has been a threat to “the business model of conventional media”, thus contributing to their closures, something which they say has been overlooked by the UHRC.

The UJFC also makes the observation that cases of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary restriction or arrests of journalists “have been minimal,” and further references Cambodian laws which have been established to protect individual rights and boundaries.

The UJFC concludes the statement by saying that their mission is to strengthen professional ethics and the capacity of media, and they believe that the solution to better journalism is not expression of concern but active multilateral engagement on the ground.

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