Mam Sonando is a Cambodian radio journalist with French dual citizenship, will visit Minnesota and hold Free Press Symposium at the International Khmer Assembly.
Sonando will be visiting Minnesota and will hold a symposium on “Journalism and Free Speech in Cambodia” at the International Khmer Assembly, 1404 Concordia Ave. in St. Paul on Thursday, August 7, at 10 a.m., at 1404 Concordia Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104. The pubic is invited to attend.
Sonando is the owner and director of Phnom Penh’s Beehive Radio, which the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) described in 2012 as “one of Cambodia’s few independent news outlets”. He also acts as a political commentator for the station.
In 2012, Human Rights Watch described Beehive Radio as “a key platform for promotion of human rights and democracy in Cambodia”.The station is one of the few to address controversial topics, including “Cambodian civil society, the fight against HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality and human trafficking, campaigns for women’s rights and gender equality, political and economic transparency, equitable and sustainable development, labor rights, environmental protection, the rule of law, and electoral education and election monitoring.” It also carries programming by Radio Free Asia, Voice of America, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, and Radio France Internationale.
Sonando has been imprisoned three times on charges related to his reporting: a 2003 arrest for “inciting riots”, a 2005 arrest for defamation, and a 2012 arrest for insurrection. His twenty-year prison sentence for the latter was protested by human rights groups. The sentence was overturned by an appeals court in March 2013, and Sonando was instead given a five-year suspended sentence on charges of causing civil unrest.
The International Khmer Assembly is a 501(c)(3) non profit humanitarian organization incorporated in the State of Minnesota. Find out more online at www.IKAinternational.org.