A big thanks to everyone who came to our booze cruise which went off without a hitch except for Sam Rainsy’s resignation announcement which made everyone’s phones go off at once. Besides that, it was a fun event with a beautiful sunset and cold beers.
The OPCC recently released a statement expressing concern and solidarity with BBC reporter, Jonathan Head who is facing a defamation suit in Thailand for writing an article exposing dodgy real estate practices.
As we said in our statement, in Cambodia, like Thailand, defamation is a criminal matter, not a civil one, and this allows any disgruntled party to easily bring a case against a journalist. Any investigative journalist is at risk of this and I hope you will support our call for both governments to downgrade the charge to a civil one, bringing it into line with international standards.
Naturally, concerns are high following various statements about the press in Cambodia. Increasing crackdowns are hitting civil society organizations too. While you can expect more fun events from the OPCC, such as movie nights and booze cruises, you can also expect us to increasingly offer a rallying point for foreign journalists to band together against intimidation.
Over the coming months we will be putting together a hostile environments course to offer training on how to be safe in cases of civil unrest. There will be more socials and a special meeting ahead of the commune elections in June. We will also be associating ourselves with other press clubs in the region.
So please follow us on Facebook and make sure you hit “see first” option. We won’t spam you and it is the easiest way to keep up to date with events, meetings and news regarding the foreign press in the kingdom.