Cambodia’s top court upholds ban on public airing of movie clips – Xinhua
The Cambodia Broadcasting Corporation (CBBC) on Monday upheld a ban on cinemas showing the films of three leading Cambodian directors, who were accused of abusing power and inciting hatred.
The ruling comes amid rising tensions between the Cambodian government and the two groups that control the country’s television and film industries.
The two groups, which have been at odds for years, are also locked in a battle over control of the countrys television channels, the state-run media said.
Last month, a court in Phnom Penh ordered the screening of the three films, called Phnom Bazaar and Phnom Meancheng, which deal with the aftermath of a deadly 1988 uprising against the Khmer Rouge regime.
The films had been banned in the country in 2011 after the government accused them of glorifying the death of a prominent anti-government protester.
In June, the CBBC’s Board of Governors said it would seek to revoke the ban, which was in place since 2004.
The three films were shown in cinemas in 2012, 2013 and 2015, before they were banned in 2016, the broadcaster said.
The CBBC said in a statement on Monday that the three directors had violated the law by “imposing restrictions and censorship on Cambodian cinema, which does not belong to the public domain.”
It added that the ban would be lifted on May 29.
Last week, the ruling Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) said it wanted to see the films restored to cinemas, and said it planned to “bring an end to the blockade and to the oppression of film-makers.”
The three directors were among the top 10 film-making directors in the world in 2017, according to the World Film Awards.
In 2016, they won the Grand Prix of Film-Making at the Berlin Film Festival.
The National Film Board of Cambodia said the ban on the films was in line with the principles of the law, which stipulates that cinemas should be open to the entire Cambodian public.
The board said in its statement that it respected the CBB’s decision and that it hoped the ban “will not be reversed” and that the films would be screened again.
In 2018, the film-maker Ang Pang Nam said he was considering a lawsuit against the CBRC.
“I will definitely sue the Cambodians who are putting restrictions on cinema in Cambodia,” he told Reuters.
“The government has already failed in its duty of neutrality.”
In April 2018, a Cambodian court ruled against the film and TV makers and ordered them to produce a documentary on the “unconscionable act of censorship.”