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Group Warns Against Web Censorship

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Cambodian men are using internet at a coffee shop in Phnom Penh on May 25, 2010. A human rights group on Tuesday called for greater Internet freedoms in Cambodia, as more and more people are finding their way online.

Cambodian men are using internet at a coffee shop in Phnom Penh on May 25, 2010. A human rights group on Tuesday called for greater Internet freedoms in Cambodia, as more and more people are finding their way online.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights on Tuesday called for greater Internet freedoms in Cambodia, as more and more people are finding their way online.

In its report, “Internet Censorship: the ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression in Cambodia,” the group warned of a “recent trend toward Internet censorship and the grave implications for freedom of expression in Cambodia.”

Ou Virak, president of the center, said the government must work hard to development protective regulations for Internet use, as it spreads across the country, “by ensuring that old barriers are not applied to a new frontier.”

Telecommunications Minister So Khun told VOA Khmer in a phone interview Tuesday the ministry does not condone Internet censorship.

However, the ministry did come under fire earlier this year after it held a meeting with Internet service providers and encouraged them to block sites that were counter to Cambodia’s interests.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said Tuesday the government has put pressure on Internet companies in the past. He noted an ongoing deterioration of the freedom of expression across different media, including the Internet.

Cambodia is considered “not free” by the press freedom watchdog Freedom House.

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