3 Journalists Report Recent Harassment

Three local journalists were beaten or harassed in separate incidents in Cambodia in recent months, the League of Cambo­dian Journalists reported Friday.

In two cases, journalists were beat­en while they said they were in­vestigating stories. Un Ki­n­in, editor of the Pohna Vorn Khmer (Khmer Intellectual) newspaper, who was beaten most re­cently, on March 19, now stays at home and fears for his safety, newspaper pub­­lisher Huc Dean Huor said Wed­nesday. “I have lost hope that my colleague will re­ceive justice,” the publisher said.

The case was referred to Koh Kong provincial court on Wednes­day, but an investigating judge has not been assigned, provincial court clerk Sou Sovanara said.

The guards who allegedly beat the editor are employees of the Duty Free Stop Co, which is owned by Okhna Ly Yong Phat, Koh Kong’s multimil­lion­aire developer, said Huc Dean Hour.

Some witnesses claimed, however, that Un Kinin was drunk and didn’t pay a bridge-crossing fee.

On Feb 23, Hang Sokhon, a Pon­leu Samaki (Light of Solidar­ity) newspaper photographer, al­leged he was beaten by a Kiri­rom Na­­tional Park chief as he tried to photograph il­legal logging in the park, League of Cambo­d­ian Jour­­nalists chief Om Chandara said.

On Jan 30, Ly Pov, a reporter for the Kompong Cham province branch of LCJ, said he was threatened and his camera was confiscated by a security guard of the Chamka Andoung rubber plantation, said Kong Chhin, LCJ branch chief in Kompong Cham province.

Ministry of Information Secre­tary of State Khieu Kanha­rith on Wednesday urged journalists to follow proper ethical codes.

He charged that some local news­papers approach private com­panies to try to extort money from them, and said that the three cases reported by the LCJ were isolated incidents.

“Have you ever heard of journalists [from more prominent newspapers] being beaten by the pri­vate companies’ guards?” he asked. “Please, local journalists, respect the code of ethics.”


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