The Ministry of Information Has the Intention to Regulate Publications on the Internet – Thursday, 8.1.2009

Posted on 9 January 2009. Filed under: Week 594 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 594

“Since the Internet arrived in Cambodia in 1997 (when Cambodia officially had 24h Internet network for the first time), communication and publishing through this means became more popular in the Kingdom of Cambodia. In the meantime, the publishing through radio and cable TV and through satellite increased also. More than one decade of progress makes the Ministry of Information concerned about eventual effects of these new technologies on Khmer society. Therefore the Ministry of Information has the intention to put ‘publishing services through electronic systems’ under the control of a law which is being drafted. The Ministry of Information said that electronic news (such as newspapers) will not be affected by this new law, because the major intention of this law is to control the publishing of audio-visual data, of games, and of entertainment programs and advertisements through the Internet, to ensure moral respect.

“A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Information in charge of drafting this law, Mr. Nov Sovathero, explained that because of the advances of new technologies, the Ministry of Information found that its responsibility has increased remarkably during these years. In addition to the control of the old audio-visual field which consisted of recording tapes – the burden of the Ministry of Information has become bigger with the control of 25 radio channels and 7 television channels broadcasting in Phnom Penh and in the provinces – leading now also to the control of the publishing through satellites and through the Internet. There will be 12 chapters and 67 articles in that draft law.

“Mr. Nov Sovathero said that radio and television influences listeners and watchers. Therefore, this law intends to control all publishing through electronic systems as well as the publication of performances for public viewing.

“This law will therefore also relate to audio-visual publishing through the Internet and through mobile phones. Over the course of the years, mobile phones are being used in general and at present, users can listen to radio, watch television, and send voice and picture messages through mobile phones.

“Though the responsibility of the Ministry of Information is now bigger, he said that the Ministry of Information does not have different intentions, besides protecting the respect of tradition and morality. He referred to an example that if we know that some Internet games have a bad impact on children, youth, or the Khmer society as a whole, the Ministry of Information will provide warnings about publishing licenses or revoke licenses by cooperating with relevant authorities.

“Also, we have to check the quality of advertisements so that there is no advertisement published with wrong information about the quality of the product advertised. This draft law will provide a legal framework both for content censors of electronic audio-visual documents and for Internet Service Providers who have an important responsibility in the technical field.

“Therefore, all Internet Service Providers which ask for licenses from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication must, in advance, also ask for a second license from the Ministry of Information if this law is adopted, because these companies allow Internet users to connect networks and to use data in different networks.

“Mr. Nov Sovathero referred to another example that pictures were published by individual Internet users showing Apsaras with naked breasts with sexual postures.

“For him, such pictures can evoke sexual feelings of viewers.

“Thus, he believed that this law can control the publishing of such pictures. He mentioned another example, ‘If a website publishes the beautiful face of a Khmer actress by cutting her face out of another picture and put it onto the naked body of another woman, it is not clear at present which ministry will be responsible for it? The Ministry of Information, or the Ministry of Interior? According to this new draft law, the Ministry of Information is the first to be responsible for it, because it will control all publishing of audio-visual material.’” Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #318, 7.1.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 8 January 2009

Areyathor, Vol.15, #1375, 7-8.1.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor: Position of Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh as chief advisors of the King] Is a Position Only to Receive a Salary

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #104, 7-8.1.2009

  • The Prime Minister Warns about the Selling and the Exchange of [State] Kindergartens / Preschools
  • More Than 1,500 People Died from Traffic Accidents in 2008 [5,049 were seriously injured]
  • Siamese [Thai] Authorities Closed 2,300 Websites Defaming the King [Note: Other media and civil society in Thailand request clearer definitions what a ‘defamation of the king’ really is, and say that a broad blocking of sites deprives the people from the access to information which is guaranteed by law]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1840-#1841,7- 8.1.2009

  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Cancels the Lease Contract for the Renakse Hotel of Ms. Kem Chantha and Gives the Hotel to the Municipality [before the Minister of Religions and Cults, Mr. Min Khin, had signed a contract to lease this hotel to Ms. Kem Chantha for 48 years – Phnom Penh]
  • Two Girls [11 and 14 years old] Were Raped and then Hanged [on a tree] at a Mountaintop [perpetrators are not yet identified – Pursat]
  • CR-V [car] Driving from a Wedding Party Hit Cars and Motorcycles at Five Different Places, Killing 3 and Injuring 8 People [after hitting one car he tried to escape but caused more accidents]
  • German Billionaire [Adolf Merckle, 74] Committed Suicide because of [being affected by] the Global Financial Crisis

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #318, 7.1.2008

  • The Ministry of Information Has the Intention to Regulate Publications on the Internet

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #320, 7.1.2009

  • The Police Waits for the Green Light from the Court to Reinvestigate the Murder of [the president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers] Chea Vichea [according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, Mr. Khieu Sopheak]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #177, 7.1.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asks All Fuel Companies to Cooperate to Further Reduce the Fuel Prices
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Those Who Do Not Accept the Truth [of the 7 January 1979 victory day over the Khmer Rouge] Are Not People, but Animals [some people oppose to celebrate 7 January as it is the day that Vietnam invaded Cambodia and toppled the Khmer Rouge – see the National Holiday 7 January 2009 Mirror page]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6545-#6546, 7-8.1.2009

  • Report about Victims and Traffic Accidents Shows that from July to August 2008 [countrywide], Almost 100% of Victims Had Head Injuries

 
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3660, 8.1.2009

  • The Number of Foreign Tourists Is Less Than Expected due to the Global Economic Crisis [according the Ministry of Tourism, the number of foreign tourists in 2008 was more than 2,100,000, and it only increased by 6% compared to the number in 2007]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1400, 8.1.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen: I Looked along the Roads, About 50% [of the motorcycle drivers] Wore Helmets

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4788-#4789, 7-8.1.2009

  • The Prime Minister Announced that from January 2009, the Salaries of Civil Servants Will Be Increased by 20% and the Salaries of the Police and of the Military Will Be Increased More
  • The Cambodian People’s Party Celebrated the 30th Victory Anniversary of 7 January 1979 with a Huge Meeting [with around 50,000 people participating]
  • The Thai Minister of Foreign Affairs Will Come to Cambodia to Discuss the Border Disputes in Late January
  • Japan Will Provide More Aid to Cambodia During the Visit of the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs [Mr. Nakasone Hirofumi – 中曽根弘文] to Cambodia [from 10 to 11 January 2009]
  • The US Government Provided Cambodia More Than US$60 Million in 2008
  • A Girl Received Electricity Shocks and Was Put into a Coffin to Let Ants Bite Her, in Order to Force Her to Have Sex [this experience of a now 24-year-old Vietnamese woman in Cambodia was published on 1 January 2009 in The New York Times]

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The Municipal Court, Notorious for Corruption, Describes the Shortage of Judges for Hearings – Saturday, 3.1.2009

Posted on 4 January 2009. Filed under: Week 593 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 593

“The Phnom Penh Municipal Court, ranking first in committing corruption among the courts countrywide, described on Monday that it lacked judges for hearing 6,500 cases in 2008. Being unable to solve many cases like that, makes that hundreds of accused persons are detained beyond the legal limit, which states that the detention of an accused or of a suspect can be up to a maximum of six months. Then they have to be brought to court for a hearing, and if the court cannot find them to be guilty, they must be released immediately. However, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and Khmer courts in different provinces do not abide by this legal procedure, and continue to detain thousands of people for many years without conviction, which is against legal procedure and seriously violates the rights of the accused.

“The president of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Chiv Keng, notorious for being biased toward the rich and frequently causing poor people to loose their cases, said that in 2008 the Phnom Penh Municipal Court did not solve around 6,500 cases, while by the end of 2007, there had been 9,200 unsolved cases. If one compares the two years, in 2008 there were more of the normal complaints filed at the municipal court solved than in 2007, because in 2008, there were only 6,500 complaints not solved in time, while in 2007, there had been 9,200 left unsolved.

“Chiv Keng said, ‘This does not mean that we received fewer complaints than last year. We received a similar number of complaints like last year, but this year, we worked more effectively, and the number of judges has also increased.’

“Chiv Keng, who was just promoted as an excellency in 2008, added that the Phnom Penh Municipal Court received between 3,000 and 5,000 complaints on average per year. He said that in 2008, also more complaints than in 2007 were addressed.

“Chiv Keng went on to say that at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, the number of judges was increased in 2008 from 9 to 16, and it is planned to increase the number up to 45 judges in a few more months in 2009; it will also be requested to increase the number of prosecutors to 25, while at present, there are only 8 prosecutors.

“Chiv Keng continued to say that the space available for work is also a problem for the Phnom Penh Municipal Court; therefore the municipal court plans to construct a building with six floors in the compound of the present Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

“According to the last Court Watch Bulletin [Volume 5, #23, October 2008], published by the Center for Social Development, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court had only two hearing rooms in September 2007 in which the municipal court conducted hearings for more than 884 criminal cases between October 2006 and September 2007.

“The same report added that the municipal court conducted hearings for three criminal cases every day, and half of those hearings lasted only not more than 20 minutes. So the period for hearing each case was very short, just enough to read the verdicts by which the court defined punishments, or defined who were the losers and the winners in a conflict. The result is that each case is not clearly analyzed according to the procedures of the law, and according to the facts. Therefore it is seen that frequently the rich and high ranking officials won cases against poor people, and against people who are not powerful in society.

“The executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, Mr. Sok Sam Oeun, said that he saw some progress in the Khmer court system, but there is a lot more work that the court has to do.

“He said, ‘Courts should make their judges more independent than they are at present, so that the judges can decide about the various complaints by themselves.’

“Chiv Keng acknowledged that Khmer courts are not yet quite in good order; therefore all Khmer courts need many more years to improve. Chiv King pointed out, ‘Now we are not 100% in good order, but we have made many reforms, and now, we do not hear as much criticism about corrupt courts as three or four years ago.’

“Chiv Keng added that at present, courts have ways by which citizens can report about inactivities of courts, or about different rule violations by courts. Chiv Keng continued to say that Cambodia needs more than 300 judgesT and prosecutors in addition countrywide. At present, Cambodia has only around 200 judges and prosecutors.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3656, 3.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 3 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1837, 3.1.2009

  • The Department of Information Denies Radio Free Asia Broadcast that Citizens Are Forced to Set Flags [in front of their houses to welcome the upcoming 7 January [1979] victory festival]
  • Former Thai Prime Minister [Somchai Wongsawat] Joins Samdech Hun Sen’s Daughter’s Wedding [Phnom Penh]
  • There Were More Than 8 Million Voters in the Voter Lists of the National Election Committee in 2008
  • Thieves Entered to Break a Safe in the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Taking Riel 20 Million [approx. US$5,000]
  • The Number of Beggars at the Beaches in Sihanoukville Increase
  • A Senior Leader of Hamas Killed by an Air Strike Attack by Israel on Gaza
  • Cuba Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Revolution

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #174, 3.1.2009

  • A Korean Man Committed Suicide by Hanging without Any Known Reason [Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6542, 3-4.1.2009

  • Three Explosive Devices Were Destroyed [by the Cambodian Mine Action Center – CMAC] – Police Conclude as a First Assumption that the Aim Was that the Sound of Explosions Should Trigger Disturbance [one hand made explosive device was set in front of the Ministry of Defense and two others were found west of the TV3 station – Prampi Makara, Phnom Penh]
  • A Girl in a Sugar Cane Plantation Was Raped by Three Wild Workers; One of Them Raped Her and the Ears of the Two Others Were Bitten [all of them were arrested – Koh Kong]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3656, 3.1.2009

  • The Municipal Court, Notorious for Corruption, Describes the Shortage of Judges for Hearings
  • [The president of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party] Sam Rainsy: Because of the Events of 17 April 1975 [when the Khmer Rouge regime took full control of Cambodia], There Were the Events of 7 January 1979 [which led to the invasion by Vietnam – critical appraisal of the 30th victory anniversary over the Khmer Rouge]
  • [Former Khmer Rouge leader] Ieng Sary Sent to and from the Calmette Hospital More Frequently because of Serious Illness
  • Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affairs [Kasit Piromya] Is Pressed to Resign after He Phoned to Ask for Negotiations about Border Disputes with [the Cambodian Minister of Foreign Affairs] Hor Namhong [according to the Bangkok Post, he is pressed to resign by officials from the ruling Democratic Party of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4785, 3.1.2009

  • The Acid Attack on In Soklida’s Aunt Is Sent to Court to Be Sentenced; this Is ‘Special,’ Compared to the Cases of Tat Marina, Touch Sunich, and Pov Panhapich [who also suffered acid attqcks, because police take quick [[???]] action for what happened on 8 May 2008, while for the three other women, so far no perpetrators have been found and convicted; it is seen that Ms. In Soklida, a film star, is richer, because now, she owns a car taken away from Ms. Chea Ratha by police, and she has her own bodyguards]
  • Defense Lawyers of Victims Warn They Will Resign from Work in the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [if there is no money for them]
  • The Royal Government Creates a Committee for the Management of Concessions and for the Rehabilitation of the Cambodian Railway [financed by the Asian Development Bank]
  • Siamese [Thai] Prime Minister Orders Investigations of Phone Call Threats against Him

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