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UNTAC Criminal Defamation Law Might Change

The victims of the article 63 of the UNTAC law welcome the abolition of prison sentences for defamation.

The United Nations Transitional Authority for Cambodia (UNTAC)'s law punish those convicted of defamation with imprisonment and a fine.

The victims are determined to express their opinions criticizing the government's negative activities without being intimidated or afraid even though the court has not lifted its charges against them.

They are not scared. President of Cambodian Independent Teachers Association Rong chhun says that there should not be fines included in the article 63 of the amendment draft to avoid fear in the freedom of expression in accordance with democratic principles.

He says that this would not clamp his mouth voicing its criticism against the government. He says that the government puts serious fines on those who express their opinions, and it only thinks about the defamation, thus demands for the fines.

He says that when the victims do not have money to pay the fines, they would be charged with criminal defamation.

Cambodia Center for Human Rights (CCHR)'s director Kem Sokha says that these victims haven't received letters abolishing prison sentencs for defamation from the court yet.

He says that he does not know how the court will proceed in the future.