Review of information law to be completed by month’s end in Cambodia

PHNOM PENH (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN) - The penalties section of the draft law on access to information will be completely reviewed by the ministries of Information, and Justice by the end of this month at the latest.

The ministries of Information, and Justice, will complete reviewing
the penalties section of the draft law on access to information by the
end of this month at the latest.

Once the section is finalised, it will be submitted to the Council of
Ministers early next month for review and submission to the National
Assembly for approval.

Ministry of Information spokesman Phos Sovann said this at a workshop on News Reporting with Professionalism and Code of Ethics attended by some 300 journalists on Wednesday.

“Importantly, Samdech [Prime Minister Hun Sen] told the Ministry of
Information to speed up finalisation of the law on access to
information.

“On Tuesday, we got the draft law reviewed by the Ministry of
Justice and saw it as positive. The ministry’s working group said it
could be completed on Wednesday at the ministry level,” said Phos
Sovann, who is also the ministry’s information and audiovisual deputy
director-general.

“It’s good if we can finish drafting the law on access to information
at the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday, or the latest, by the end of
this month.

“In March, the draft could be submitted to the Council of Ministers. It is a very quick step,” he said.

Sovann said if the work on the draft law is completed, the Ministry
of Information will turn its attention to preparing amendments to the
press law which was enacted in 1995.

Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin said on Wednesday that it is
working with the Ministry of Information. He said his ministry focused
only on the legal section related to penalties.

“The Ministry of Justice reviewed only the relevant sections and it did not take long to review the penalties,” he said.

The draft law comprises nine chapters and 38 articles prepared by the
Ministry of Information with the participation of civil society
organisation representatives, Unesco, the Office of the UN High
Commissioner for Human Rights in Cambodia, and Club of Cambodian
Journalists.

It has taken many years to draft under the auspices of Unesco. And
the government tasked the Ministry of Information in November 2013 to
lead a consultative forum with journalists, civil society organisations,
and relevant ministries to draft it.

Cambodia has currently registered 800 printed media organisations, 70
online publications, 22 television stations, and 330 radio stations,
said the ministry of foreign affairs statement on Wednesday.

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