Cambodia orders shutdown of independent media outlet

Cambodia orders shutdown of independent media outlet

Cambodia orders shutdown of independent media outlet

Cambodia’s strongman leader ordered the shutdown of one of the country’s few remaining local independent media outlets on Feb. 12 after taking issue with a news report about his son.

One of the world’s longest-serving leaders, Prime Minister Hun Sen has increasingly cracked down on any opposition as he prepares for elections later this year.

Online outlet Voice of Democracy (VOD) publishes and broadcasts in Khmer and English, and is frequently critical of Hun Sen and his government.

The premier said late Feb. 12 that VOD would have its operating license revoked, and must stop all broadcasting.

The move followed a February 9 VOD report that Hun Sen’s eldest son, Lieutenant General Hun Manet, had approved financial aid to Türkiye, which was struck by a devastating earthquake earlier this month.

Hun Manet has denied the allegation.

Hun Sen, who has supported Hun Manet to succeed him in the future, stated he signed off on the $100,000 Foreign Ministry aid package.

“In the name of the government, which has to protect its dignity, I decide to end the case by ordering the information ministry to cancel the license for VOD from now on,” Hun Sen wrote on his Facebook page.

“We are just shutting down all kinds of broadcasting from this radio [station], but we don’t touch their property.”