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Save press freedom from escalating assault in Cambodia

In recent weeks, the Cambodian Government has escalated its crackdown on independent voices in the media and civil society in the lead up to next year’s national elections. Already, NGOs are being shut down and media programmes are being cancelled. Join us in a solidarity campaign to show your support for these embattled groups at this critical time.

Cambodia Centre for Human Rights stand with press freedom in Cambodia
Cambodia Centre for Human Rights stand with press freedom in Cambodia

In recent weeks, the Royal Cambodian Government (RCG) has intensified its crackdown on independent media and civil society in the lead up to national elections. This has culminated in the potential shuttering of one of Cambodia's most popular news outlets, The Cambodia Daily.

Independent media have suffered, with radio programmes suddenly being taken off air, and it is expected that The Cambodia Daily will be next to be closed.

We are asking supporters of a free press and independent media to join us in a solidarity campaign to #SaveTheDaily, #SavePressFreedom and #SaveTheRadio in Cambodia!

How you can help:

• Download and print a campaign slogan at the link here, here, here or here.
• Get someone to take a picture of you with the message of support. If you don't have access to a printer, copy on a piece of paper and hold that up instead.
• Then post the photo on social media using any of the hashtags #SaveTheDaily, #SavePressFreedom and #SaveTheRadio

Background:

In the past several weeks, there has been a severe escalation of coordinated attacks on Cambodia's vibrant civil society and free press. The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has used administrative and judicial harassment to silence these voices, already leading to the dissolution of one NGO and the cancellation of several media broadcasts.

Notably, on 23 August the National Democratic Institute was forced to cease its operations under the country's repressive Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO), which critics have widely condemned due to the power it grants officials to arbitrarily target NGOs.

Independent media have also suffered, with radio programmes operated by local IFEX members suddenly being taken off air, along with more than a dozen broadcasts from Radio Free Asia and the Voice of America. It is expected that The Cambodia Daily will be next to be closed, due to spurious allegations of outstanding tax payments.

These actions are part of an ongoing trend of attacks in the lead up to national elections in July 2018. Local groups have expressed with alarm that this situation could pose an existential threat to civil society and may only worsen without the support of the international community.

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