Group Calls for New Probe Into Journalist Deaths

A Cambodian journalists association on Friday called for fresh investigations into the killings of six Khmer journalists following the decision to re­open the case of Koh Santepheap news­­paper publisher Thong Uy Phang who was shot and wounded by assassins in 1998.

Last week, the Phnom Penh Mu­nicipal Court revived the investigation into Thong Uy Phang’s shooting, court prosecutor Ouk Savouth said Friday.

The revival came days after former police chief Heng Pov fled the country in the face of an arrest warrant for the killing of a municipal judge and attempted assassinations of three others.

Heng Pov has long been linked to the shooting of Thong Uy Phang.

“The association calls on prosecutors and court directors to also re­vive the investigations into the crimes against the other journalists,” the Khmer Journalists Democracy As­so­ciation said in a statement.

The association called for justice in the 1994 killings of Voice of Khmer Youth publisher Non Chan, Koh Santepheap reporter Chan Da­ta, and Khmer Ideal publisher Thon Bunly; the 1997 killing of Fighter newspaper reporter Cheath Chuong­daravuth and the 2003 as­sas­sination of Fun­cin­pec radio broad­caster Chuor Chet­ha­rith. It also called for an investigation into the killing of Chhou Chhouam Mongkul, publisher of In­tervention newspaper, the shooting of Ek Mong­kul, a Funcinpec radio commentator, and the alleged death threats this year against Love Khmer newspaper publisher You Saravuth.

“We Khmer journalists have to pro­tect each other, help to find out the killers and find out the truth why several journalists were targeted,” Sok Sovann, the president of the KJDA said Friday.

Oum Sarin, president of the Cam­bo­dian Association for the Pro­tect­ion of Journalists, joined the call to reinvestigate the cases.

Prach Sim, editor of the best-selling Popular Magazine said that he also supported the KJDA, but noted that times have improved for journalists since 1993.

Minister of Information Khieu Kan­harith said that court investigations into the cases highlighted by the KJDA have not stopped.

“The association should specify what the court has done wrong,” he said. “They are running on low batteries.”

 

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