Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia has expressed concern over the sentencing of Australian documentary maker, James Ricketson to six years imprisonment for espionage.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, condemned the unjustified conviction of Ricketson and called on Cambodian authorities to immediately release him.
According to Reporters without Borders (RSF), Ricketson, aged 69 was arrestd on June 3, 2017 from his hotel. To keep him in prison, the police wrongly accused him of covering a political rally of the main opposition party with a photographic drone, without permission.
On August 31, a Cambodian court sentenced Ricketson to six years imprisonment. Throughout the trial, the documentary maker repeatedly said that his work was purely related to journalism and not political. The defense witnesses, including well-known director Peter Weir, all assured the court of his commitment towards documentary making and also his credibility as a journalist.
While he was being taken back to Prey Sar Prison, Phnom Penh, Ricketson requested, “Tell me at least on whose behalf I’m supposed to be a spy!”
James Ricketson, is well-known in Australia for his documentaries and he has been a frequent visitor to Cambodia.