Cambodia: journalist prison sentence upheld
The country’s appeal court has rejected journalist Kao Piseth’s case, upholding his two-year sentence.
The National Union of Journalists has joined the International Federation of Journalists in condemning a decision by Cambodia’s appeal court to uphold the two-year sentence of journalist Kao Piseth.
Piseth was arrested in July 2021 and charged with breaching the country’s criminal code and Covid-19 law after posting on Facebook, accusing Cambodia’s Prime Minister of “betraying the nation.” His posts questioned the use of the Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines from China and the medical assessment used.
In December last year, the journalist with news website Siem Reap Tannhektar, was handed a prison sentence and fine of $750. The decision by the Battambang appeal court means he must now serve his sentence.
The NUJ, IFJ and Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association are urging authorities to release Piseth and demonstrate a commitment to protecting freedom of expression.
The IFJ said:
“The arrest of a journalist for a critical social media post violates the fundamental right to freedom of expression and press freedom in Cambodia. The IFJ condemns the decision of the court of appeal in the case against Kao Piseth and calls on the authorities to immediately drop all charges against him.