Cambodian Government Bars Press From Covering COVID-19 Outbreak Zones

Cambodia has barred journalists from reporting on blockaded COVID-19 “red zones” amid a surge of cases in the country.

The Cambodian information ministry ordered journalists to stop reporting from the red zone under the threat of prosecution.

The ministry also claimed that the journalists were allegedly chasing ambulances and causing confusion.

Red zones are areas blockaded off by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community and are expected to be opened on May 5.

Citizens within the red zone have recently held protests due to food shortages and lack of aid.

Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Khuong Sreng said measures outlined for red zones such as restricted movement must be strictly adhered to even after May 5 but has not given an update.

Human rights groups criticized the red zones and said that it was unreasonable and inhumane.

“The Cambodian government’s outrageous mishandling of this Covid-19 lockdown is causing untold suffering and sweeping human rights violations across the country,” said Yamini Mishra, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific Regional Director.

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