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Provider Denies Blocking Watchdog’s Web Site

The Internet provider AngkorNet denied on Monday reports it had blocked access to the Web site of the environmental group Global Witness.

Media reported Monday blocked access to the group’s site, following an indicting report on the exploitation of Cambodia’s oil and mineral rights by a political and business elite.

“Normally, AngkorNet does not block any Web sites, except what the government requests officially to do that,” Horm Sarith, Angkor Net networking engineer, said.

The government had not asked to block Global Witness, he said.

Minister of Post and Telecommunications So Khun said the ministry had no plan to block the group’s Web site.

The group’s 2007 report, “Cambodia’s Family Trees,” implicated a number of high-ranking officials and relatives of Prime Minister Hun Sen in illegal logging; the report was banned from the country.

This year’s report, “Country for Sale,” issued last week, has not been made available in hard copy, and access to the group’s Web site for AngkorNet users was impossible over the weekend.

By Monday afternoon, following several interviews from VOA Khmer, the site was accessible. Local media reported no problems with other Internet service providers.

Horm Sarith said the problem could be related to bandwidth limitations. Problems connecting to some sites were normal, he said.