Journalist's ordeal as a 'convicted spy' in Cambodia

JOURNALIST and filmmaker James Ricketson will share his experiences of being a convicted spy in Cambodia.

In June 2017, charged with espionage, Sydney-based Ricketson was thrown into the notorious Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh, where he shared a cell with 150 inmates.

His arrest followed the use of a drone over a political rally for the Cambodia National Rescue Party, in opposition to the Cambodian military government.

Ricketson had been entering and exiting Cambodia for more than 20 years, charting the lives of Cambodian people with his documentary camera, revealing their daily struggles, particularly of families living in slums on rubbish dumps.

On August 31, 2018, he was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison. On September 21 last year, Cambodian authorities pardoned Ricketson for the offence.

His ordeal, and that of his family and friends during his incarceration, was the subject of an episode of ABC TV's Australia Story last year.

The filmmaker is now active in supporting WikiLeaks' Julian Assange, who is serving a 50-week sentence in a London jail.

Ricketson will be speaking at the Courthouse Hotel, 33 Burringbar St, Mullumbimby, on Wednesday, May 29, from 6pm, and at the Byron Services Club, 132 Jonson St, Byron Bay, on Thursday, May 30, from 6pm.

The journalist will share his experiences in Cambodia and discuss the impact of an independent and free media under threat.

Both events are sponsored by the Frontline Film Foundation.

All proceeds will go to the Cambodian charity started by Mr Ricketson, Family by Family (www.familyby family.org).

Tickets can be booked through Eventbrite.



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