29 June 2013

Banned! Radio Broadcasts! Banned! Foreigners Expressing an Opinion!

This Blackout brought to you by the Royal Cambodian Government.

The Cambodian government has banned FM radio stations from broadcasting foreign-produced programmes during the election lead-up.

As a result 10 Khmer Radio stations will not be airing the U.S. funded Radio Free Asia programmes that they once did.

A spokesman from Radio Free Asia claimed the move was:

“the most sweeping and stunning frontal assault on media freedom in Cambodia in recent memory.”

The directive, released late Friday, also barred "foreigners in Cambodia from campaigning in favour or against any political party" 

That's disgraceful.

The U.S. government shares the concern with State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell saying that such restrictions call into question whether the July 28 vote will be free and fair.

That won't bother Hun Sen and his cronies one bit; they'll happily wear the criticism knowing the banning of an often critical foreign media will improve their poll results while, after a pause for a little squealing from U.S. politicians, American cash will again roll into the Cambodian government's coffers.

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