Morrison says Australia will support filmmaker

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Australia’s new Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government will be supportive of a filmmaker convicted of spying in Cambodia.

James Ricketson was sentenced Friday to six years in prison and has been detained without bail since his arrest last year after flying a drone over a political rally.

Human Rights Watch blasted the ruling as an injustice, and the group’s deputy Asia director Phil Robertson also criticized Australia for failing to publicly and consistently challenge Cambodia. He said the soft approach “is not just morally bankrupt – it’s also totally ineffective.”

Morrison, on a visit to Indonesia, told reporters Friday that Ricketson would get the consular and other government support expected. He said, “As usual in these types of events it is best to deal with these things calmly and directly and in a way which best assists a citizen.”