Cambodia blocks some independent news media sites - rights group
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia blocked the websites of some independent media on Friday, a human rights group said, just two days before a general election in which Prime Minister Hun Sen faces almost no challenge to his 33-year-old rule. Reuters could not reach a government spokesman for comment. Cambodia's independent media has come under increasing pressure from Hun Sen and his allies ahead of the vote
PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia blocked the websites of some independent media on Friday, a human rights group said, just two days before a general election in which Prime Minister Hun Sen faces almost no challenge to his 33-year-old rule.
Reuters could not reach a government spokesman for comment.
Cambodia's independent media has come under increasing pressure from Hun Sen and his allies ahead of the vote.
The purchase earlier this year of the Phnom Penh Post, an English-language daily, by a Malaysian whose public relations firm lists Hun Sen as a client was labeled by critics a "disaster" for media freedom ahead of the election.
That followed the closure of the Cambodia Daily, another English-language newspaper, after it was ordered to pay millions of dollars in back taxes by the government or face closure. Around 30 radio stations were shut last year.
"For the past several hours it has been confirmed that several Internet Service Providers … and mobile companies … are actively blocking websites of independent, online media radio outlets including Radio Free Asia (RFA), Voice of America (VOA) and Voice of Democracy (VOD) as well as websites of English newspapers," said Naly Pilorge of the Cambodia-based Licadho human rights group.
"This is the first website censorship since the release of the prakas on media in late May 2018," she added, referring to government directives in May to block or close websites and social media pages containing content "considered as incitement” or a threat to national security.
Reuters could not open the websites of Radio Free Asia Khmer, Voice of America Khmer and Voice of Democracy on Friday.
Kith Meng, CEO of Mobitel, Cambodia's leading mobile phone network provider, declined to comment when contacted by Reuters by telephone.
Other mobile providers, including Metfone and Cooltel, could not be reached for comment.
"We are outraged that private companies would block access to certain media while charging full prices for their services," said Naly Pilorge. "Its neither good business nor in line with international rights or standards."
The election has been criticized by the United Nations and Western countries as fundamentally flawed after the Supreme Court last year dissolved the main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) over accusations of plotting to topple the government. Its leader, Kem Sokha, was imprisoned for treason.
The party, which only narrowly lost the 2013 election, denied the accusation and most CNRP leaders have since fled abroad, leaving no significant competitor to Hun Sen’s party.
Supporters of Hun Sen on Friday took to the streets in a last day of boisterous electoral campaigning.
Of the 19 other parties standing on Sunday, none are strongly critical of Hun Sen or the government. Smaller parties together won less than seven percent of the vote in 2013.
(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul, Writing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, Editing by William Maclean)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut
By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.
By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son