Cambodia’s democracy, particularly the freedom of the press, continues to nosedive as authorities levy politically motivated, and, therefore, bogus, espionage charges against two local journalists in a bid to silence them. Human Right Watch has written an article about the unfortunate event. According to Human Right Watch,
The Cambodian authorities should immediately drop the politically motivated case against two ex-Radio Free Asia (RFA) journalists, Human Rights Watch said today. On July 26, 2019, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court will begin the trial of Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin on wholly unsubstantiated espionage charges.
“The fabricated case against the ex-RFA journalists is intended as a strike against media that dares to criticize the Cambodian government,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director. “Chhin and Sothearin should never have had to face these bogus espionage charges, and all judicial restrictions on them should be lifted.”
On November 14, 2017, Cambodian authorities arrested Sothearin, RFA’s former Phnom Penh bureau office manager and a news editor, and his colleague Chhin, a former RFA cameraman. Four days later, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged both with supplying a foreign state with information prejudicial to Cambodia’s national defense under article 445 of the criminal code, an offense punishable by a prison term of 7 to 15 years.
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