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Foreign broadcasters shut down for elections

(CPJ/IFEX) - June 4, 2012 - The following is a CPJ Blog post:

By Bob Dietz/CPJ Asia Program Coordinator

Activists from three different political parties died during the 15-day campaign period leading up to the elections, in which the ruling Cambodian People's Party won a large majority of seats, according to a report issued by the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (Comfrel). The Phnom Penh Post ran articles on "allegations of intimidation, ghost voting, and electoral-roll sabotage" in the election, and the U.S. government-funded Voice of America (VOA) published a story headlined "Observers: Cambodian Vote Improved but Problems Remain."

Comprel documented the various irregularities in the election--listing at least 100--but the U.S.-owned Radio Free Asia (RFA) and VOA brought to our attention one specific one: the silencing of the transmission of their broadcasts on five local FM stations on Sunday. The one-day ban also seemed to extend to Radio Australia and Radio France Internationale.

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