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  • Human Rights Research Center

Cambodia Government Eliminates Media Freedom

February 16, 2023


Photo: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during a handover ceremony at Phnom Penh International Airport in February 2021. [Image credit: © 2021 AP Photo/Heng Sinith]

Cited article by Human Rights Watch


HRRC urges Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to reverse his decision to revoke operating licenses for all independent news outlets in the country. The shutdown of these media organizations violates freedom of speech and the press, and imposes censorship.


Article Summary


Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a revocation of operating license to the last remaining independent news outlet in the country, Cambodian Center for Independent Media, the parent company of Voice of Democracy. According to the Deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch, Voice of Democracy has been a consistent source for investigative reporting and criticism of the Cambodian government. It's elimination, along with the several others before them, wipes out all freedom of the press and speech in Cambodia.


Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People's Party have been criticized numerous times for their inability to follow democratic principles. Media outlets like Voice of Democracy reported on these issues surrounding government corruption and wrongdoing, as well as human rights violations and other critical topics. Now that these outlets are no longer legally able to operate, the government will oversee all national TV and radio stations and newspapers, essentially becoming an authoritarian regime.

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