Home > Local News > Cambodia orders popular blog blocked

Cambodia orders popular blog blocked

Bangkok, February 23, 2011–The Committee
to Protect Journalists is concerned by reports that Cambodian
authorities have ordered local Internet service providers to block a
number of websites, including the popular KI Media news aggregator and commentary blog, considered critical of the government.

Voice
of America’s Khmer-language service reported
on February 17
that it had been forwarded e-mail correspondence from a
senior official in Cambodia’s Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPT) telling
local ISPs–WiCam, Telesurf, and Hello–to censor websites that contained
anti-government content.
The
German Press
Agency DPA reported
that “several” websites critical of the government had
gone offline in recent weeks, and that at least one local ISP carried a message
that KI Media had been blocked “as ordered by the Ministry of Post and
Telecommunications of Cambodia.” On February 17, the English-language daily Phnom
Penh Post
published minutes of a February 10 government meeting that
quoted MPT Minister So Khum ordering mobile phone operators to block access to
certain websites that were adversely affecting the country’s “morality and
tradition.”  The Post reported that So Khum denied that the government ordered ISPs
to block any websites.
“We
are troubled by reports that Cambodia is increasingly curbing online freedom,” said
Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s Senior
Southeast Asia Representative. “We urge Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government to
immediately reverse course. The Internet is one of the few spaces left for free
expression in Cambodia and that is how it should remain.”
Hun
Sen’s ruling Cambodia People’s Party dominates the country’s print and
broadcast media. There were previous indications that KI Media was at risk of
censorship. In mid-December, the blog’s administrators directed readers to a
Radio Free Asia story that outlined ways to circumvent online censorship. On December 19, a Cambodian
court sentenced U.N. World Food Program employee and Cambodian national Seng
Kunnaka to six months in prison for circulating articles posted on KI Media
about a border dispute with Vietnam, according to news reports. 

Source: CPJ, Committee to Project Journalists
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Categories: Local News
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