4658438854_100f72195aSince my last video post, I’ve been thrust into the media law work that OSJI has planned, which includes learning about the separate laws that govern defamation prosecutions of journalists and private individuals here in Cambodia. Apparently, United Nations transitional laws, the Cambodian press law, the Cambodian Constitution, the penal code and international agreements all influence the outcome of a case in some way. It’s a lot of reading, but very interesting stuff. Yey, research!

On top of all the laws and reports I’m going through to try and make some sense of the legal situation, I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that government officials can just remove offending publications from newstands, that newspapers themselves have to be registered with the government, and that any sort of “incitement” can be met with a fine or even jail time. Sometimes it seems the laws have been pulled from the law books of some authoritarian goverment from some science fiction novel, but the law is all too real for those who have been jailed or fined by the government here.

I’ve also had some time to meet and have a couple of beers with the other intern – also a first-year law student – who is working with OSJI. I mentioned before that many of the students and volunteers who pass through the city are super worldly, knowledgable and educated, and this dude is no exception. He has studied and worked in Japan – where he met his fiancee – and can both read and write Japanese. This wouldn’t be so unusual except for the fact that he stands 6 feet 2 inches tall and and has a shock of red hair. He had some interesting stories to tell about Japan, and I look forward to hearing more. Yey for cool people!

Speaking of cool, since it’s too darn hot to actually even think of running in the city, I decided to join a gym, which is just a quick jaunt around the block from the hotel that I’m staying at. Apparently, this gym – which sits in a building called The Place (creative, I know) – is the place that most people want to be at if they do join a gym in Phnom Penh. I can’t argue with that. The gym at the place has it all: very cold air conditioning, leather seating, free classes, free Internet access, cable television, weights, all manner of exercise equipment that you would find at 24 Hour Fitness, and possibly one of the best views of the Independent Monument in the city. Photos to come!

Photo: Open Society Justice Initiative office, Phnom Penh Center Building / julieanneines Flickr

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  1. […] Julie Ann continued her Open Society Justice Initiative internship in Cambodia. Harvard ‘11 Ivy Lea enjoyed a frozen yogurt treat the night before the first of her two […]