Despite a wave of international concern over the shutdown of independent media Voice of Democracy (VOD), Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the outlet’s license will not be restored and offered VOD reporters government jobs instead in a Facebook post Tuesday.
After the government shuttered independent media Voice of Democracy (VOD) on Monday, dozens of civil society groups decried the decision and numerous embassies warned the loss of the publication seriously damaged Cambodia’s dwindling press freedom in the run-up to the July national election.
Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the government will revoke the license for media outlet VOD in a Facebook post Sunday evening, after he previously demanded an apology for an article he claimed was inaccurate.
Cambodia’s levels of freedom of expression, press and access to information remain low, and the work environment for journalists and human rights defenders is “increasingly dangerous,” the Cambodian Center for Human Rights said in a report released Thursday.
Press freedom groups and foreign donors on Friday discussed the potential benefits and goals of establishing a national press council, including developing a standardized code of ethics for journalists nationwide and promoting public trust and self-regulation in the industry.