The constitution provides for freedom of the press, and the present government publicly professes to support this right. While the press law provides journalists with several safeguards, it also permits the Information Ministry to suspend newspapers, broadly prohibits publishing articles that affect national security and political stability, and subjects the press to criminal statutes. During the year, authorities threatened a newspaper with suspension and detained several journalists. Moreover, the month-long suspensions of several papers in recent years continued to have a sobering effect on reporters. In December, a reporter was ambushed and beaten with an iron club by unidentified attackers, possibly in retaliation for a story regarding a land dispute. The private press routinely scrutinizes government policies and senior officials. However, the majority of broadcast media are controlled by the state both economically and editorially, according to a report by the World Press Freedom Committee, and programming favors the ruling party. The Information Ministry has denied repeated requests from opposition leader Sam Rainsy for a license to operate a radio station.