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Radio Free Asia Praises Acquittal in Cambodia Disinformation CaseSalem-News.com
The RFA's Sok Serey, one villager, and two activists from the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights were released.
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - Today, Radio Free Asia President Libby Liu praised the acquittal of four men, including RFA broadcaster Sok Serey, on charges of disinformation stemming from a report about a Cham Muslim community leader in Takeo province.
“We at Radio Free Asia are pleased that our reporter has been acquitted of the baseless charges against him,” Liu said. “We hope this ruling will reverse the growing pattern of using Cambodia’s legal system to suppress free speech and freedom of the press.”
The Trial’s Background
Serey, a journalist with RFA’s Khmer language service, was among the four men charged with disinformation.
Last year, authorities charged the men following the broadcast of Serey’s report in late 2008 that contained comments from the three other defendants regarding a dispute between Cham Muslim community leader Rim Math and more than 200 villagers from his mosque.
In a complaint filed with leaders of the Cham Muslim community in late 2008, villagers from Borei Cholsar district’s Kampong Yol village, called for the dismissal of Rim Math on the charge of mishandling donations (10 million riels, valued at 2,400 USD) intended for a local project.
In addition to Serey, the other men acquitted were one villager and two activists from the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights. The men’s trial was held on Feb. 9.
Source: Radio Free Asia
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