Information Ministry Revokes Three Media Licenses Following Reports on Senior Official’s Role in Land Fraud


The Information Ministry revoked the licenses of three media outlets on Thursday 16 March 2023 after they published reports exposing a senior government official’s role in land fraud.

The Ministry stated that online Khmer language media outlets Federation of Cambodia-ASEAN Journalists, Raksmey Kampong Cham and Dumnong Knong Srok had “committed serious violations of journalistic ethics” and “not followed the instruction of the ministry.”

Lyheang said the Information Ministry had called him for a meeting in February and requested that he remove articles alleging that government officials had forged documents in a land dispute and, in another case, involved in the extortion of poor families.

One report, published in all three outlets, revealed that senior ruling CPP National Assembly member Sar Chamrong, former deputy governor of Banteay Meanchey, allegedly forged documents to gain more than 60 hectares of land in Banteay Meanchey.

The Information Ministry claimed the articles damaged the honor of the officials named in the report, according to Lyheang.

Lyheang said he replied that he cannot remove the information because it is real information, especially a lie to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Information Ministry spokesperson Meas Sophorn denied the Ministry had asked the media outlets to remove articles.

“It isn’t true,” Sophorn said. “The decision to revoke licenses came because those media outlets have broadcasted disinformation with no verification of sources from relevant parties related to information they have published, and they didn’t make a correction to disinformation they had published.”

“Furthermore, those media outlets disseminated disinformation because those media outlets were asked to help other parties [publish information] and were promised to receive benefits if the settlement was resolved [favorably],” he added.

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Phnom Penh Capital
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Closure or suspension of media outlet by authority