NGOs, Media Groups Criticize Draft Cambodian Secrets Law

5 February 2015

A proposed Cambodian law to protect state secrets is being criticized by nongovernmental organizations, opposition legislators and media watchdogs, according to a report by Radio Free Asia.

The proposed legislation could be used by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) to stifle leaks about official corruption and other political information the public has a right to know, according to the cirtics.

The Radio Free Asia report says:

Cambodia’s National Police Commission announced on its website last week that the Ministry of the Interior was drafting the law “to ensure that state secrets are well protected” after meeting with Vietnamese defense officials on Jan. 28, and was pushing for its approval.

Am Sam Ath, senior investigator for local rights group LICADHO, said the proposed law could allow the CPP to prosecute opposition activists and violate human rights.

He urged the government to hold a discussion about the draft law with NGOs before submitting it to the Council of Ministers and the National Assembly, or parliament, for approval.

Moeun Chheannarith, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media Studies, is quoted as saying he supports the move as long as the law complies with the constitution. “If the draft law doesn’t have a clear definition, it will be interpreted to serve certain political purposes or to prosecute dissidents and reporters,” he told RFA. “This law is a challenge for the press,” he said.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: ,

Filed under: What's New