Controversial Newspaper Editor Dies Aged 76

Nguon Nonn, the newspaper editor imprisoned in 1994 for linking CPP officials to that year’s high-profile coup attempt, died at his home in the U.S. on Sunday. He was 76.

“My father died of his old age,” said Marshall Nguon, the youngest of Nguon Nonn’s three children, by telephone Tuesday. “Our family members are holding a funeral ceremony at the old Khmer pagoda in Lowell [Massachusetts].”

“My father’s body…will be cremated Saturday.”

Nguon Nonn was an official in the People’s Republic of Kampuchea and State of Cambodia regimes in the 1980s but later joined Prince Norodom Ranariddh’s Funcinpec party for the U.N.-led 1993 national election.

His newspaper, The Morning News, was among the more successful and credible Khmer-language newspapers in the 1990s and made its name exposing sensitive issues such as corruption.

After the 1994 coup attempt against Prime Minister Hun Sen, which led to the deportation of Prince Norodom Chakrapong, The Morning Star published a controversial article linking CPP officials to the attempt.

Among them were Sin Song, the interior minister at the time, Chea Sim, then the president of the National Assembly, and a number of CPP-aligned generals.

He served a month in jail for the article.

Nguon Nonn fled Cambodia after the 1997 factional fighting between Prince Ranariddh and forces loyal to Mr. Hun Sen, and secured asylum in the U.S. in 2001 with his two sons, while his daughter remained in Phnom Penh, according to Marshall Nguon.

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