12 January 2009
The following is a statement from the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), a SEAPA partner based in Phnom Penh:
Government attempts to regulate the Internet
The Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ) expresses its concern about the Cambodian government's plan to regulate the Internet through the enactment of a law by late 2009.
CAPJ appeals to the government to put the plan on hold temporarily and that a survey be conducted instead.
CAPJ observed that since the Internet became available in 1997, it has been serving the public well despite the absence of laws governing it. Furthermore, no major incidents involving the Internet which caused negative consequences to Cambodian society has taken place. Actually, the public has already grown accustomed to this new technology and has been enjoying freedom to utilize this latest electronic tool. With the prospect of the new regulation, CAPJ President Um Sarin said: "It seems the government
is applying autocratic rules to control everything about
communication. We worry that this law would be used as a tool to control and clamp down on bloggers who harshly criticize the government and we appeal for the government to reconsider its current plan."
CAPJ will closely watch this situation and at the same time invite donor countries as well as the local and international human rightsNGOs to take appropriate action should the Cambodia government pushes through with this new regulation.
For more information, contact:
Um Sarin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Duong Hak Samrithy (email@example.com)