Protesters, rights groups condemn closure of Cambodian news outlet

A handful of protesters gathered in Phnom Penh on Monday to condemn the shutdown of one of Cambodia’s last independent media outlets, with rights groups also slamming the portal’s closure just months before national elections.

Prime Minister Hun Sen — among the world’s longest-serving leaders — ordered the shuttering of online Khmer- and English-language outlet Voice of Democracy (VOD) on Sunday over what he said was an erroneous report about his eldest son.

Sitting in the meeting room at VOD, journalist Khan Leakhena burst into tears as management halted broadcasting at 10 am following the revocation of the outlet’s licence.

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