News / Asia

US Condemns Cambodia's Ban on Foreign Broadcasts

A supporter of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party holds the party flag together with a Cambodian national flag during an election campaign in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 27, 2013.
A supporter of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party holds the party flag together with a Cambodian national flag during an election campaign in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, June 27, 2013.
The United States has condemned a Cambodian government order that bars local radio stations from broadcasting foreign news programs before July's general election.

The Cambodian information ministry has banned local radio stations from broadcasting content from foreign news media for 31 days prior to the July 28 election, in which Prime Minister Hun Sen will seek to extend his hold on power.  The directive also ordered stations to stop carrying reports on foreigners playing any role in the campaign.

Among others, the restrictions affect U.S.-funded Voice of America and Radio Free Asia.

U.S. State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell called the directive a serious infringement of press freedom and said it calls into question whether the vote will be free and fair. VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch said reliable, accurate and balanced news and information are crucially important ahead of elections.

Cambodia's information ministry denied there is a ban on foreign radio broadcasts, because international radio broadcasts from outside Cambodia, either short wave or medium wave, are unrestricted.

The ministry said Saturday its action was intended to ensure unbiased election coverage by local FM and medium-wave radios. VOA said it is considering adding additional frequencies to its shortwave broadcasts to Cambodia in the days ahead.

Until now, VOA and RFA programs have been re-broadcast by many FM stations in Cambodia.

A spokesman for Radio Free Asia has called the ban "the most sweeping and stunning frontal assault on media freedom in Cambodia in recent memory."

Cambodia's Hun Sen is one of the longest-serving prime ministers in the world - in power since 1985, through a series of coalition governments. He is expected to win the July 28 election.

A statement by the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees VOA and RFA, can be seen on the Internet at www.bbg.gov/blog/2013/06/28/bbg-condemns-foreign-media-ban-in-cambodia/.

You May Like

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

Analysts say move by President Xi is an effort to win more party support, take step toward economic reforms, removing those who would stand in way of change More

South Africa Land Reforms Still Contentious 20 Years Later

Activists argue that the pace of land reform is slow and biased; legal experts question how some proposed reforms would be implemented More

In Vietnam, Religious Freedoms Violated, UN Finds

Beliefs reportedly prompt heavy surveillance, intimidation and travel restrictions More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid