Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Journo killings condemned

Journo killings condemned

The body of journalist Hang Serei Oudom is found in Ratanakkiri in September last year
The body of journalist Hang Serei Oudom is found in Ratanakkiri in September last year. A report from the Committee to Protect Journalists has decried the killing of journalists with impunity. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Journo killings condemned

A report from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has decried the killing of journalists with no consequences, listing Cambodia as one of several countries where members of the press have been killed since 2004 “with complete impunity”.

“Our research has found that such impunity emboldens the killers and silences the press,” the report reads.

From 2004 to 2013, 370 journalists have been murdered across the world for their reporting, with 90 per cent ending in no arrests, prosecutions, or convictions, the CPJ reported.

The two Cambodian journalists listed in the CPJ’s report, Khim Sambo and Hang Serei Oudom, were killed in 2008 and 2012, respectively.

Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc in Ratanakkiri, where Serei Oudom reported for Virakchun Khmer Daily, said the pair accused of murdering the journalist for his coverage of the illegal logging industry were released and had their charges dropped.

“The trial at the provincial court has not been fair and just to Oudom’s family, because the court did not open a thorough investigation”, he said, adding that Serei Oudom’s wife had filed an appeal to no response.

This year, two journalists, Suon Chan and Taing Try, were killed in Cambodia. At least 12 have been killed since 1993’s UN-supported elections.

CPJ Southeast Asia representative Shawn Crispin said such killings have been on the rise over the years in Cambodia.

“Cambodia has an impunity problem, one that has intensified in recent years with the unresolved killing of political and environmental journalists,” Crispin said.

But according to Chhay Sophal, board member of the Cambodian Club of Journalists, the situation for journalists has improved since the interparty warfare and Khmer Rouge-inflicted chaos of the 1990s.

One remaining issue, however, is that of journalists extorting the people or companies they cover, as Try had been accused of.

“We discuss this a lot in Phnom Penh, and we do not agree with either extortion from journalists or journalists being murdered,” Sophal said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway