WASHINGTON, D.C. —
Voice of America on June 28th, urged officials in Cambodia to reverse an order that bans FM stations from broadcasting programs from VOA’s Khmer Service
and other international networks.
(Update: Cambodia later reversed its decision to impose these restrictions)
“The decision to pull VOA off FM stations in Cambodia deprives audiences of vital news and information ahead of the July 28th general election,” said VOA Executive Editor Steve Redisch. “Reliable, accurate and balanced news and information are critically needed ahead of elections. We condemn any effort to silence the media,” Redisch said.
In a circular issued June 25th, Cambodia’s Ministry of Information ordered “all FM stations” to suspend “rebroadcasting from all foreign radio stations that broadcast in Khmer language
” in the 31 days preceding nationwide parliamentary elections.
VOA is considering adding additional frequencies to its shortwave broadcasts. It will continue to provide news and information broadcasts on direct-to-home satellite, web streaming and AM radio broadcasts from outside Cambodia.
Last year, on the day before local elections, Cambodia’s Ministry of Information forced FM stations to stop foreign news broadcasts, allowing them back on the air 48 hours later. International broadcasting officials condemned that decision, calling it contrary to the principles of free and fair elections and counterproductive to democratic goals.
VOA’s Khmer Service
is one of the most popular international sources of news in Cambodia, and the government’s decision to pull VOA radio programs off FM stations sparked immediate complaints on Facebook
and other social media sites.
For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write firstname.lastname@example.org
. Additional information can be found at the VOA Public Relations website www.insidevoa.com
, or the main news site www.voanews.com