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Cambodian media warned, government takes Trump-style approach

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Cambodia Association for Protection of Journalists (CAPJ) to strongly criticize the threat by the Cambodian cabinet against the media. The IFJ call for the comments to be withdrawn.

As reported by the International Federation of Journalists: On Saturday, February 25, Phay Siphan, a spokesperson for Cambodia’s cabinet in a post to Facebook, threatened to ‘take action’ against any media outlets, which he said are threatening the country’s peace and stability. The statement went on to specifically refer to US-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, calling on all ‘foreign agents’ to self-censor or be shut down. The statement ended with reference to President of the United States, Donald Trump’s ban on international media at press conferences, “Donald Trump’s ban of international media giants… sends a clear message that President Trump sees that news published by those media institutions does not reflect the real situation.”

Following the statement, in a phone interview with the Phnom Penh Post Siphan reiterated the comments saying that any media who did not comply with the warning, they would “Shut it down, very simple. Expel them.”

CAPJ president, Um Sarin, said: “We can say that all foreign media operate in Cambodia must respect the Cambodia law. And no foreign countries can interfere into Cambodia affairs.”

The IFJ said: “The statement made by the spokesperson for the Cambodia cabinet is extremely concerning and raises serious concerns for press freedom in Cambodia. Threats directed at the media are aimed to silence and create a sense of fear.”