Commune police in Kratie Province questioned the organizers of a Cambodian Journalists Alliance Association (CamboJA) training course on journalist ethics. Two commune police officers requested the training agenda, took pictures of the training, and asked for the participant list.
The police also asked for the trainer’s name, the number of participants, where the
participants were from, and the purpose of the training. The police said that it is normal procedure in the province to know about all gatherings, meetings, and workshops conducted by political parties, NGOs and associations.
The organizers refused to the organizers refused to provide the participant list, but agreed to give the police the meeting agenda and pictures of the training.
“This is an order from the provincial police chief,” said a police officer in civilian clothes who was taking notes.
The police left the venue after the questioning. However, since the agenda mentioned the representative from UNESCO, the police officers came back again asking to see the UNESCO’s representative. The police left the venue after an explanation about the absence of UNESCO’s representative.
CamboJA provided the training to 30 journalists (2 female) who are from Kratie, Preah Vihea, Ratanakiri, Stung Treng, and Mondul Kiri Provinces. In the two days of training, journalists are expected to learn basic news writing and journalistic ethics. This training is part of CamboJA’s project to provide capacity building to a local chapter based in Kratie Province. CamboJA finished the same training for 28 journalists in Siem Reap Province from 30 to 31 August. Attendants were part of the local chapter network base in Battambang.