Cambodian Journalists Pen Letter Demanding Court Drop Charges Against Former RFA Reporters

More than three dozen journalists in Cambodia published an open letter on Thursday urging the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to drop all charges against two former RFA reporters who have lived under police surveillance for more than a year while awaiting a trial for “espionage.”

The 38 journalists said they affixed their names and thumbprints to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by RFA’s Khmer Service, “to express our concern over the seriousness of the charges” facing Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, who were taken into custody on Nov. 14, 2017 and charged with “illegally collecting information for a foreign source,” but released on bail nine months later.

“Keeping them under court supervision makes it extremely difficult for them to live and work as reporters,” the journalists said, noting that Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin are barred from changing their addresses or traveling abroad, and must check in with their local police station once a month.

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