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US broadcaster says Cambodia reverses radio curbs

July 1, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S.-government funded broadcasters are welcoming Cambodia’s reversal of a ban on radio stations carrying foreign-produced programming in the local language during the campaign for upcoming elections.

Last week FM stations were ordered to stop broadcasts from foreign-based networks in the Khmer language during the monthlong campaign. That drew swift international criticism. The U.S. State Department called it a serious infringement of press freedom, raising questions on the fairness of the July 28 vote.

The Broadcasting Board of Governors, a U.S. federal agency which oversees Radio Free Asia and Voice of America, said Cambodia reversed the decision at the weekend. But it called for continued international vigilance about remaining restrictions on media during the elections.

The vote is virtually certain to prolong Prime Minister Hun Sen’s 28-year stint in power.

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