|Code||Brief Description||Location||Date||Victim (journalist) Info||Offending material / subject matter / activity||Publication Info||Type of publication||Type of act||Complainant||Court Proceeding||Additional Claims||Case Summary||Sources|
|Province||District||Commune||Date of event||Last updated||Name||Nationality||Title||Name||Language||Newspaper||Magazine||Book||Blog||Radio||TV||Other||Censorship or Alleged Censorship or Attempted Censorship||Violence or Alleged Violence or Attempted Violence Against Journalist(s)||Harassment or Alleged Harassment of Journalist(s)||Confiscation or Alleged Confiscation or Attempted Confiscation of Private Property||Threat and/or Use of Criminal Procedure||Threat and/or Use of Civil Procedure||Arrest and/or Detention||Journalist(s) Killed||Alleged Extortion by Journalist(s)||Further Information||Retraction? (if so, details)||Charges||Conviction||Date of conviction||Sentence||Court and/or judge and/or prosecutor||Current status of victim (i.e. place of detention)|
|PFEx2008_BMC001||Three Journalists Prevented from Covering News about Smuggling at the Border and Detained||Banteay Meanchey||Unknown||Unknown||2/2/2008||2/2/2008||(1) Kim Saroeurn; (2) Sin Chhean Po; (3) Tham Pheap||Cambodian||(1) and (2) editors-in-chief; (3) reporter||Photograph (taking photographs of border police station and the border passage through which smuggling was alleged to occur)||(1) Rasmel Eisan; (2) and (3) Reachsey||Khmer||x||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The three journalists were detained for three hours of questioning by the commander of border police unit No 911 and then released.||censorship/restriction on publication; attempted confiscation of personal property; attempted bribery||Three journalists were questioned when they attempted to report on a story involving Banteay Meanchey’s Palilai Border Passage. |
Mr. Kim Saroeurn and Mr. Sin Chhean Po, the respective editors-in-chief of the Rasmei Eisan and Reachsey newspapers, and Mr. Tham Pheap, a reporter for Reachsey, were all surrounded by a group of four policemen on February 2, 2008 when they attempted to investigate. Mr. Keo Channa, a border police unit No 911 officer, asked the journalists why they came to his area without any permission. He also tried to confiscate their camera equipment and video recorder. However, the journalists did not give in and responded that they were just taking photographs of the passage which constitutes a public area and that they wanted to meet the border police unit commander to clarify the matter, having been informed of smuggling activities in this area.
The three journalists were taken to meet the border unit commander, Mr. Chhouk Ang. The trio were again asked why they entered the area without permissision as it is an armed area and dangerous. Accordingly, they were told they must seek permission before entering the area. Mr. Saroeurn replied that they came because they were told by the residents that goods were being smuggled through the passage due to the ignorance or with the help of the border police stationed there. The journalists further explained that they wanted to meet with competent authorities, especially the commander of the border unit No 911, to investigate and clarify the allegation in order to report the matter and any official response to public.
Mr. Saroeurn told staff at the Cambodian Center for Human Rights via telephone that Chhouk Ang offered them (the three journalists) a sum of 240,000 Riel (about USD 60) for not publishing the case. The journalists did not accept the amount but were nevertheless released after three hours of questioning.
|CCHR-FoEX-2008-BMC001, the information received from phone call from Kim Saroeurn, Sin Chhean Po, Tham Pheap, Keo Channa and Chhouk Ang.|
|PFEx2010_BMC001||Journalist Researching Gambling Assaulted in Kpal Spean Village||Banteay Meanchey||Ou Chrov||Poipet (Kpal Spean village)||3/1/2010||4/7/2010||Vong Tho||Cambodian||Reporter||Research (working on article about illegal gambling)||Raksmey Kampuchea||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Unknown||Sources unclear as to the exaxt nature of the criminal charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court, Deputy Court Prosecutor Tan Seihak Dechak||In April 2010 provincial prosecutor agreed to drop charges against Vong Tho when he agreed to withdraw his complaint. Assailants were arrested by police and spent one month in pre-trial detention and were released after sending Vong Tho a letter of apology and payment of unspecified compensation.||Physical assault||On 1 March 2010, Vong Tho, a journalist for the newspaper Raksmey Kampuchea, was assaulted by three people while researching an article on illegal gambling in the Kpal Spean village of Poipet commune. The assailants later identified as Ngm Trem, soldier in the RCAF border battalion 503, his son Lim Hy and his wife Lim Lang, first confronted and then beat him in order to prevent a story involving them in illegal gambling practices from being published. They were subsequently arrested by the police and spent one month in pre-trial detention.|
Vong Tho filed a complaint against them, but also had criminal charges brought against him. He agreed to withdraw his complaint after the assailants sent him a letter of apology and a payment of unspecified compensation.
In April 2010, the provincial prosecutor dropped the criminal charges against Vong Tho.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 29 (see link) http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||http://khmernz.blogspot.com/2010/04/trio-freed-after-striking-deal-with.html||Phnom Penh Post, April 7, 2010, p 6|
|PFEx2010_BMC002||CTN Presenter Summoned for Questioning over Accusations of Defamation and Disinformation||Banteay Meanchey||Unknown||Unknown||9/30/2010||12/1/2010||Lai Ly||Cambodian||Reporter||Articles (Three news reports on a land dispute involving an RCAF commander and a local property company.)||CTN TV||Khmer||x||x||x||Local business (Dam Chhat Rei)||Disinformation (Article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code) Defamation (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal or civil charge)||N/A||Summoned to appear on 11 October 2010 but did not attend||N/A||Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court, Deputy Court Prosecutor Tan Seihak Dechak||Unknown||The CTN TV reporter Lai Ly was summoned to appear in Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court on 14 October 2010, for questioning over a defamation and disinformation lawsuit filed against him by Dam Chhat Rei, a senior government official. |
The offending material consisted of three reports on a long-running land dispute involving the local property company ARP-OITC and the deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), Lay Saran. All reports were broadcast between July and September 2010, with the last one claiming that Dam Chhat Rei’s tractor had cleared part of a seven-hectare rice field which Lay Saran claimed to own.
Lai Ly argued that the complaint was unjust, maintaining that he had given voice to all parties involved and that his reports were conducted with professionalism, transparency and balance. Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for the human rights groups ADHOC commented that the reporter should not have been sued with defamation and criminal disinformation. When Lai Ly was summoned to appear in court on 11 October 2010, he did not attend. However, officials at Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court confirmed that Lai Ly had attended an initial questioning on 14 October 2010.
No further information has been found on this case.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 26 (http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf)||The Cambodia Daily, October 16-17, 2010, p 12||Phnom Penh Post, October 1, 2010, p 6||Phnom Penh Post, October 12, 2010, p 4|
|PFEx2011_BMC001||Newspaper Editor Accused of Threatening to Publish a Defamatory Story||Banteay Meanchey||Unknown||Unknown||1/29/2011||1/31/2011||Heang Sopheak||Cambodian||Editor-in-Chief||Unknown (Attempting to blackmail a provincial judge)||Praloeng Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Provincial Judge (Ang Mealtey)||Blackmail (article 372 of the new Penal Code)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh Municipal Court||Unknown||Heang Sopheak, editor of the newspaper Praloeng Khmer, was charged with blackmail by Phnom Penh Municipal Court. He is accused of threatening to publish a defamatory story about Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court President Ang Mealtey and then attempting to extort money from him. He was arrested on the 27/01/2011.|
Sok Savan, head of the Press Council of Cambodia, claims that Heang Sopheak is mentally ill and, while owning the newspaper, has never published a copy.
|Cambodia Daily, January 31, 2011, p 24|
|PFEx2011_BMC002||Publisher of People Power News Detained for Alleged Forgery of Official Documents||Banteay Meanchey||Unknown||Unknown||6/9/2011||6/12/2011||Kong Samnang||Cambodian||Publisher||Allegedly faking public documents||People Power News||Khmer||x||x||Unknown||Forging public documents (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal charges )||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Banteay Meanchey Court||Put in provisional detention in Banteay Meanchey prision awaiting furter investigation||Violation of rights of the accused in relation to detention/right to a fair trial (Failure to be adequately informed about the defendant's court hearing)||Publisher of People Power News, little-known local newspaper, Mr Kong Samnang, was called in for questioning by the Banteay Meanchey Court over allegeations of faking public documents (including the alleged faking of a letter from the Minister of Information). The judge then placed him in provisional detention on June 9, 2011 awaiting further investigation. |
The details of the letter were not provided.
|Apsara, “Judge Detained Publisher of People Power News, 10 journalists jailed since 2002”, Koh Santepheap Daily, June 12, 2011, http://kohsantepheapdaily.com.kh/article/19459.html, Visited on June 13, 2011|
|PFEx2009_BTB001||Journalist Arrested for Alleged Extortion of Fishermen||Battambang||Moung Russey||Chrey||2/22/2009||2/25/2009||Soth Sampidor||Cambodian||Reporter||Research (Extorting money from fishermen in exchange for not confiscating fishing equipment)||Serey Youtethor News||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||Villagers||Extortion (unclear what article the criminal charge is under)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Battambang Provincial Court of First Instances||Unknown||None known||Battambang police, on February 22, 2009, arrested five men, including a journalist of Serey Youtethor News, accusing them of extorting money from fishing community members. However, Moeung Ratha, the President of the Conservation and Protection of Natural Resource and Environment Group (CPNREG), and also the publisher of Serey Youtethor, rejected the allegation saying that it was very unjust.|
The men were Soth Sampidor, a reporter for Serey Youtethor News and also a member of CPNREG, and Chhin Neang, Poeu Sinith, Sok Phalla and Sann Sophoan, members of CPNREG. The men were sent to the Provincial Court on February 24, 2009, where they were charged with extorting fishermen.
Run Ry, 35, claimed that on February 22, at around 1 am in the morning, she received a phone call telling her to pay 400,000 riels (about $100) to a group of men led by Soth Sampidor, or her husband would be arrested and fishing equipment would be confiscated.
The men were arrested when they went to take the money from Run Ry. The Kampuchea Thmei Newspaper also reported that the same group, on February 17, had extorted the amount of 800,000 riels (about $200) from eight people in a neighboring fishing community.
Soth Sampidor finally admitted that he had asked money from the community members.
|Kampuchea Thmei Newspaper, Year 2008, No 1882, dated February 25, 2009, available at Corruption-Free Cambodia, Saatsaam, http://saatsaam.info/kh/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1694 , accessed September 12, 2011||Sok Savy, “Battambang Police Arrested Five Reporter and Environmental Officials”, Radio Australia-Khmer, February 25, 2009, http://khmer.radioaustralia.net.au/archives/current_affairs/?p=4671 , accessed September 12, 2011||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2009_BTB002||Four Journalists Arrested and Charged with Forest Crime||Battambang||Rukakiri||Unknown||5/17/2009||5/21/2009||Unknown||Unknown||Reporters||The four journalists admitted that they had stolen the chainsaw belonging to a local resident.||(1)-(3) Koh Santepheap Men; (4) Koh Ekreach||Khmer||x||x||Vorn Yoeun||The military police official charged them with robbery (article 34 of the UNTAC Criminal Code) but the Phnom Pehn Post said that they would in fact be charged with a forestry crime (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the the criminal charge)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Battambang Court||Unknown||None known||According to Vorn Yoeun, 25, on May 17, 2009 four men drove up to his house in a white Camry and took his chainsaw without any explanation. He tried to chase the car on his motorbike but they did not stop. He then lodged a complaint with the military police office. |
The military police then arrested the men in Battambang’s Rukakiri District. Following interrogation the military police official charged them with robbery.
All of the men arrested held press credentials issued by the Ministry of Information – three of them work for Koh Santepheap Men, a local newspaper, while the fourth is employed by another publication, Koh Ekreach.
According to the Phnom Penh Post, the four journalists will be investigated by the Forestry Administration Officials because it involves a forestry crime, not a robbery.
|Chrann Chamroeun, “Journalists set to face Battambang court on forestry charges”, The Phnom Penh Post, May 21, 2009|
|Not coded||Three Journalists Arrested on Charges of Extortion||Battambang||Sangke||Unknown||9/28/2011||11/10/2011||(1) Sem Sareoun (Samdey Reas Newspaper); (2) Tea Reun (Samdey Reas Newspaper); (3) Chum Sophearun (Kampuchea Thgai Thmey Newspaper)||Cambodian||Reporters||Unclear||1-2 Samdey Reas Newspaper; 3 Kampuchea Thgai Thmey Newspaper||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Military Officer, |
Mr. Tea Buntith
|Unknown extortion, criminal||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||The journalists are currently in detention in Battambang||One of three journalist in Battambang province called Mr. Tea Buntith, a military official in Office 2 of the army, to ask for 5$ in the form of a phone card. When they arrived at the police station, they were subsequently arrested on charges of extortion.|
On Oct 5, 2011, Radio Australia reported that the plaintiff planned to withdraw charges. However, on Nov 10, 2011 three of the journalists were still in detention and said that the case had already arrived in front of the judge.
|Radio Australia http://khmer.radioaustralia.net.au/archives/current_affairs/?p=52843||Radio Australia |
|PFEx2009_KPC001||Three Journalists Arrested for Alleged Extortion||Kampong Cham||Dam Bae||Kampong Pring||6/25/2009||6/29/2009||(1) Sar Phai; (2) Chann Saroeurn; (3) Meas Chandara||Cambodian||Reporters||Research (allegedly extorting money from a villager)||(1) Khmer Thmei (Khmer New), (2) Damneung Peusda (Detail News), (3) Prapoin Yutethor (Justice System)||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Thor Sichan||Extortion (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Kampong Cham Court||Unknown||Three journalists were arrested by Kampong Cham Police Officers and sent to the Provincial Court on the morning June 25, 2009 morning in connection with extortion of a villager.|
According to Chim Senghong, Provincial Deputy Police Chief, on June 25 he had requested a warrant for the arrest of four journalists following a complaint brought by Mrs. Thor Sichan, 57, living in Sok San village, Kampong Pring commune, Dam Bae district. She accused the four journalists of extorting money from her in order for them not to publish a story alleging her involvment in human trafficking.
Three journalists were arrested. They were (1) Sar Phai, reporter of Khmer Thmei (New Khmer) News, (2) Chann Saroeurn, reporter of Damneung Peusda (Detail News) News and (3) Meas Chandara, a reporter of Prapoin Yutethor (Justice System) News, while a fourth journalist escaped.
Thor Sichan said that the journalists tried to extort US$ 600 from her and on June 23, 2009 she paid them the sum of US$ 200. In relation to the allegation against her, Sichan stated that she used to take her daughter to Phnom Penh in order to find a job and a lady named Em Phoeurn asked to go with her. Once they arrived in Phnom Penh, Sichan asked her sister, the owner of a printing shop, to employ Phoeurn. Phoeurn disappeared the next day.
On June 25, Sichan filed a legal action with the provincial police and also made an appointment with the journalists.
|Or Phearith, “The Court continues the procedures over three journalists arrest despite the plaintiff withdrawn her complaint”, June 29, 2009, http://www.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/case-on-2journalists-continues-06292009043144.html , accessed June 30, 2009||Or Phearith, “Three Journalists arrested for extorting money”, June 25, 2009, http://www.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/3journalists-arrested-in-kcham-06262009004526.html , accessed June 27, 2009|
|PFEx2010_KPC001||Four Journalists Arrested and Accused of Attempted Extortion||Kampong Cham||Stueng Trang||Unknown||4/5/2010||6/1/2010||(1) Chea Lyheang; (2) Tong Sophon (3) Thorng Kimhuouth; (4) Chhy Hok Kimsrean||Cambodian||Reporters||Article (published story alleging that wood vendor Mey Kim Huon's operation was illegal)||N/A||Unknown||x||x||x||x||Journalists countersued Mey Kim Huon for defamation.||Businesswoman (Mey Kim Huon)||Sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||None known||Four journalists were arrested on 5 April 2010 after a wood vendor had accused them of attempted extortion. The four men, named as Chea Lyheang, Tong Sophon and Thorng Kimhuouth and Chhy Hok Kimsrean were taken into custody along with the head of Kampong Cham’s Rural Development Committee.|
The timber vendor, Mey Kim Huon, claimed that the journalists had threatened to publish stories accusing her of selling illegal wood unless she paid them US $300. The journalists did publish a story two days later which alleged that Mey Kim Huon’s business operation was illegal.
The journalists denied any misconduct and claimed that they had been tipped off by a local farmer and said that local authorities failed to seize the allegedly illegal wood.
On 18 May 2010, the five accused individuals filed a defamation complaint against Mey Kim Huon. According to their lawyer, the group also accused Mey Kim Huon and six other vendors of trading in illegal timber and intended to file a lawsuit against them.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 47 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||Phnom Penh Post, June 1, 2010, p|
|PFEx2010_KPC002||Three Journalists Arrested for Alleged Extortion||Kampong Cham||8/3/2010||Three unnamed journalists||Cambodian||Reporters (publication unknown)||Research (Allegedly extorting money from a pig vendor and trying to grab a weapon from police officer)||N/A||N/A||x||x||x||x||x||Businessman||Sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal or civil charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||None known||On 3 August 2010, three journalists were arrested in Kampong Cham province over accusations of blackmailing a pig vendor and trying to snatch a weapon off a police officer. |
According to Provincial Police Chief Nuon Samin, the three unnamed journalists allegedly tried to extort money from a pig vendor which led to a confrontation with the police and the journalists tried to grab a weapon from the officer.
Chan Sorphorn, chairman of the journalists group "Watch on Cambodia" told a different story however, alleging that police and the pig vendor had conspired to set up the journalists who were reporting on cross-border pig smuggling in Memot district. He claimed that the pig vendor had promised to pay the journalists 15,000 Riels but instead they asked for 30,000 Riels.
There is no further information on this case.
|Phnom Penh Post, August 5, 2010, p 4|
|PFEx2008_KCH001||Shots Alledgedly Fired by Police to Intimidate Journalist||Kampong Chhnang||Tuek Phos||Unknown||1/27/2008||1/31/2008||Lim Lyheang||Cambodian||Reporter||Photograph (taking photos of illegally procurred timber being transported to Phnom Penh by train. Svay Ratha, military police allegedly fired three bullets over head of journalist)||Today News||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Charges being brought against assailant (military policy officer).||Yes, by/on behalf of journalist. Khan Sokhom (Sokhom took complaint - on behalf of Lyheang - with the provincial military police demanding the officer be prosecuted in court and asking $ 10,000 in damages||Sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges.||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||(1) Censorship/Restriction of information; (2) Physical assault||A reporter was shot at by a military police officer when he attempted to take photographs of a train transporting illegal timber. |
On January 27, 2008, Lim Lyheang, 41, reporter of the little-known Khmer-Language publication Today News, was taking photographs and covering a story on the transportation by train of illegally-procured timber. An officer shot over his head as a warning. The incident happened at Romeas Train Station in Tuek Phos district, Kampong Chhnang province.
According to forestry wardens Kong Sophal, Hong Socheat, and Thy, the train was being protected by military police officer Svay Roatha who rushed at the journalist shouting at him to stop taking photographs. He (Roatha) fired three shots in the air and confiscated Lyheang’s camera, refusing to return it.
Lyheang’s colleague Mr. Khan Sokhom said that he has already lodged a complaint, on behalf of Lyheang, with the provincial military police demanding that the officer, Svay Ratha (sp?), be prosecuted in court and that Rathat (sp?) pay $10,000 in damages.
|Prak Chan Thul, “Journalist Alleges Officer Opened Fired on Him”, The Cambodia Daily, January 31, 2009||Club of Cambodian Journalists, Press Release No 06/09 CCJ, dated January 29, 2009||Rithysen, “Journalist Accused Military Police of Firing Three Bullets at Him, Officer Denied”, Koh Santepheap Daily, January 29, 2009||Radio Free Asia, “Photojournalist threatened by authorities”, January 29, 2009, http://www.rfa.org/khmer/news/photojournalist-threatened-by-authorities-01292009232312.html , accessed August 30, 2011||1. Ministry of Information, Declaration No 73 MOIF-Dec, license, June 30, 2008||1. Ministry of Information, Declaration on cancellation of license of Radio Station Angkor Ratha FM 105.25, Declaration No 216 MOIF-Dec, May 28, 2008|
|PFEx2009_KCH002||Reporter Sued for Disinformation||Kampong Chhnang||Unknown||Unknown||5/6/2009||3/17/2011||Rithy Sen||Cambodian||Reporter||Article, allegedly disinformation, accusing Noun Sovanarith and another logger of illegally logging state owned land.||Koh Santepheap||Khmer||x||x||x||Logger||Disinformation (Article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court of First Instance||Unknown||Harassment of Journalists||On May 6, 2009, volume 6642 of the The Koh Santepheap Daily published an article entitled “Over 20 hectares of forestry land logged, Forestry Administration Official claimed the land in questioned is state property”. In the article, Rithy Sen, a reporter of The Koh Santepheap Daily in Kampong Chhnang wrote that Nuon Sovanarith, alias Touch, had allegedly logged state-owned land in Boribour district, Kampong Chhnang. Sovanarith then brought legal action before the Kampong Chhnnang Court against Rithy Sen and alleged the latter of disinformation, along with two other people as accomplices: District chief of forestry administration Sok Me, and Nou Chan. |
On November 15, 2010 Kampong Chhnang provincial prosecutor Penh Vibol decided to drop the complaint. However, recently San Sophat, the investigating judge, sent a notification to Nou Chann and Rithy Sen informing them that the he had sent the case to trial. Penh Vibol said he received the complaint on March 15, 2011, but was not satisfied and would appeal the case.
|Apsara, “Nearly two years that loggers turn their head to sue reporter”, Koh Santepheap Daily, March 17, 2011, http://kohsantepheapdaily.com.kh/article/20110316-034617.html|
|PFEx2009_KCH003||Journalist's Life Threatened in Connection with Illegal Logging Story||Kampong Chhnang||Unknown||Unknown||12/7/2009||12/11/2009||Kong Soky||Cambodian||Reporter||Article (story anout illegally transporting rosewood timber)||Meatophum||Khmer||x||x||Kong Soky (reporter)||Attempted murder||N/A||N/A||N/A||Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court of First Instance||Unknown||Kong Soky, a 47-year-old reporter of Meatophum alleged that a National Defense Ministry soldier threatened to shoot him on the night of December 7, 2009 because the latter suspected that he published articles covering the illegal transportation of rosewood timbers in Kampong Chhnang by armed officers. In fact the article was written by another reporter.|
Kong Soky said that Meas Siphan, a soldier of the Ministry of National Defense, pointed a short gun at him and accused him of publishing a story that Meas Siphan illegally transported the rosewood.
Until December 8, 2009, Soky was preparing the necessary documents to sue Meas Sophan for attempted voluntary homicide with the Kampong Chhnang provincial court of first instance.
|Radio Free Asia, “Journalist in Kampong Chhnang got life threatening”, December 8, 2009, http://www.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/journalist-in-kgchnang-got-life-threatening-12082009052723.html , access December 11, 2009||The Cambodian Center for Human Rights, FoEX-2009-KCHN003-investigating report by In Kong Cheat dated December 11, 2009|
|PFEx2010_KCH001||Journalist Killed by Truck while Exposing Illegal Logging to Police||Kampong Chhnang||Sambor||Unknown||3/18/2010||3/22/2010||Sem Sophal||Cambodian||Reporter||Research (learned of activities related to illegal timber trading)||Kar Pitt||N/A||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Deceased||Failure to ensure prompt, full and effective investigations of deaths caused by State or non-State actors||Sem Sophal, a journalist who worked for the newspaper Kar Pitt, was killed by a truck ramming the motorcycle he was driving, on 18 March 2010. Sem Sophal was taking the deputy commander of the military police in Sambor district to see the illegal transportation of timber. The pair encountered three trucks engaged in illegal activities and a chase ensued. |
No police investigation or further action was taken by the authorities after the killing.
|PFEx2010_KCH002||Journalist and Deputy Director of the Provincial Women’s Affairs Department Sued for Defamation||Kampong Chhnang||Unknown||Unknown||5/21/2010||5/23/2010||Sieng Tharith and Chhum Chansok||Cambodian||Reporter; civil servant||Article (published story which quoted allegations of a disorderly release of a rape suspect by Kampong Chhnang provincial police)||Kampuchea Thmey||Khmer||x||x||Police (Prak Sarony)||Defamation (Article 10 of Press Law)||N/A||N/A||N/A||Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court, Provincial Court Prosecutor Penh Vibol||Unknown||Journalist Sieng Tharith and the deputy director of the Provincial Women’s Affairs Department, Chhum Chansok were sued by Prak Sarony, chief of the provincial police’s anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection bureau, over accusations of defamation. |
The contested article had been published on 24 April 2010 in the newspaper Kampuchea Thmey and quoted Chhum Chansok as saying that police had released a rape suspect without bringing the case before a prosecutor first. Prak Saony argued that the journalist had failed to include a comment from the police, verifying that the release had been orderly and appropriate. Sieng Tharith, however, argued that the had written a follow-up which included updated information on the story.
No information is available indicating whether Sieng Tharith and Chhum Chansok were officially charged by Provincial Prosecutor Penh Vibol.
|The Cambodia Daily, May 22-23, 2010, p. 12|
|PFEx2010_KCH003||Journalists Charged with Defamation and Criminal Disinformation||Kampong Chhnang||Boribor||Anh Chang Roung||5/21/2010||5/23/2010||(1) Nou Chan; (2) Pao Sok Hean||Cambodian||Reporters||Article (several articles alleging that Nuon Sovanrith had been involved in illegal forest clearing)||(1) Koh Santepheap and (2) Khmer Sathapana||Khmer||x||x||x||Nuon Sovanrith||Defamation (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the the criminal or civil charge) Disinformation (Article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||N/A||N/A||N/A||Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court, Investigating Judge San Sophat, Provincial Court Prosecutor||Misuse of criminal information to stifle Free Speech||On 21 May 2010, the prosecutor at Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court officially charged two journalists and a forestry official from Boribor district with defamation and criminal disinformation. |
The complaint had been brought to the court by Nuon Sovanrith after Nou Chan, a journalist with the newspaper Khmer Sathapana, and Pao Sok Hean from the newspaper Koh Santepheap had both published articles in May 2009 claiming that he was involved in illegally clearing two hectares of protected forest in Anh Chang Roung commune.
Both journalists defended their reporting, arguing that their articles were based on interviews with Boribor’s forestry administration chief Sok Ny, and in light of the official charges, Nou Chan considered countersuing Nuon Sovanrith.
As of July 2011, there has been no further information on this case.
|The Cambodia Daily, May 22-23, 2010, p. 12|
|PFEx2011_KCH002||Journalist Threatened after Rejecting Bribe from Timber Transporter||Kampong Chhnang||Unknown||Unknown||4/3/2011||4/4/2011||Unknown||Unknown||Reporter||Photograph (photographing the timber transporter)||Deum Ampil News||Khmer||x||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||On April 3, 2011, a Deum Ampil reporter tried to photograph trucks transporting timber because he suspected that the timbers onboard had been illegally logged. The timbers were being transported from Rith’s house in Dambok Koh village, Svay Chrum commune, Rolea b’ier district, Kampong Chhnan province. |
Rith then told his people to pay the reporter, but he rejected the money and continued to take photos with his mobile phone. Rith came and asked the reporter which press agency the reporter was working for. The reporter replied that he worked for the Deum Ampil news, to which Rith said he was looking at the face of Deum Ampil reporter who always covers stories about him. Rith then allegedly insulted the reporter with rude words and threatened to take legal action against the reporter.
Local police intervened and the confrontation ended.
|Chan Thy, “Strong Timber Businessman Threaten to Hit Reporter”, Deum Ampil News, April 4, 2011, http://www.dap-news.com/typography/the-news/20723-qmuejecigxoamg-dwkeqieqmah-rits-kmram-vaygnkkaest.html , Visited on 04 April 2011|
|PFEx2011_KCH003||Several Journalists Summoned to Court over Extortion Allegations||Kampong Chhnang||Toek Phus||Chieb||4/28/2011||5/31/2011||(1) Chan Thy; (2) Chea Khen,;(3) Meas Sokha; and others||Khmer||Reporters||Research (Alleged extortion of illegal loggers)||Samleng Amatak, Kampuchea Thmey, Deum Ampil, Today News, Khmer Journalism Association for Democracy||Unknown||x||x||x||x||x||Yes, by villagers in December 2010||Extortion (souces unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court||Summoned for questioning||None known||Six or seven journalists were summoned to Kampong Chhnang provincial court for questioning over allegations that they extorted money from illegal loggers.||Phnom Penh Post, May 31 2011 p 5|
|PFEx2008_KSP001||Editor for Viacha Khmer Arrested||Kampong Speu||Aoral||Trapaing Chor||1/29/2008||2/3/2008||Yun Nhor||Cambodian||Editor-in-chief||Camera (another reporter was taking photos of his office).||Viacha Khmer (Khmer Speech) News||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||x||Appears to have been a private personal dispute between two journalists.||Chhuon Ty, Army Office 2 Soldier||Wrongful damage to property (article 52 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||N/A||N/A||N/A||Kampong Speu provincial court||Yun Nhor was released and the charges dropped after he agreed to repair the damages.||An editor-in-chief of Viacha Khmer (Khmer Speech) news was arrested by a group of local police in Kampong Speu’s Aoral district for private property damage.|
Mr. Yun Nhor, the editor-in-chief of the Viacha Khmer was arrested around 10pm on January 29, 2008 in front of his office by commune and district police following an order by Kampong Speu Police Chief over allegations of damaging of private property. Nhor was immediately sent to and detained at the Kampong Speu Provincial police station before being questioned by the provincial prosecutor, Mr. Kong Seth.
Chhuon Ty, a soldier of Army Office 2, reported that, on January 29, he and Mr. Ratha, a reporter for Kampuchea Thmei News Agency, were on their way back from a friend's wedding reception. When they arrived in front of Yun Nhor's office they slowed down and took photos of the office. Rathat attempted to issue an article alleging that Yun Nhor used his press office as a cover for extorting money from loggers and other people who transport firewood or charcoal through his office
Ty stated that “Yun Nhor reached us attempting to take the camera equipment from Ratha, but Ratha did not give him and then Nhor broke the car rear down”.
Nhor said that he never extorted money from villagers as the authorities alleged. Also, he denied breaking the car rear belonging to Chhuon Ty, saying that it was an accident that occurred when he tried to take the camera from Ratha.
According to Kong Seth, the Kampong Speu provincial prosecutor, Yun Nhor was released two days after he accepted to repair the damages.
|Pich Nil, "Viacha Khmer Editor-in-Chief arrested over the destruction of car belonged to other", Rasmei Kampuchea, January 31, 2008||FoEX-2008-KSP001, In Kong Cheat, CCHR-investigation report, February 3, 2008|
|PFEx2008_KPT001||Kampuchea Thmei Journalist Arrested for Retaliating Against Battery by Village Chief||Kampong Thom||Damrey Choan Khla||Stoeung Sen||3/12/2008||3/16/2008||Song Sam Ang||Cambodian||Reporter||Song Sam Ang (reporter) hit Huy Kim Lee (the village chief) in eye after being hit in the head by Huy Kim Lee's shoe.||Kampuchea Thmei||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Huy Kim Lee||Criminal: Intentionally Causing Injury (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal charges)||N/A||N/A||N/A||Kampong Thom Provincial Court of First Instance||Unknown||Physical assault||On March 12, 2008, a 38-year-old reporter for Kampuchea Thmei newspaper, Mr. Song Sam Ang- living in Balangk Khang Lech village, Damrey Choan Khla commune, Stoeung Sen district, Kampong Thom province – was charged by Kampong Thom Provincial Prosecutor with intentionally causing injury to the chief of the village, Mr. Huy Kim Lee.|
Sam Ang was alleged to have used violence with intent to cause injury on Kim Lee. The alleged incident occurred around 8:30 pm on March 10 in Ta Ork village, Chhouk commune, Prasat Sambour district. It is said that Kim Lee was drunk and used his shoe to hit Sam Ang’s head. Then, Sam Ang retaliated, wounding Kim Lee's eye. Eventually, police arrived and arrested Sam Ang and sent him to the District Police Office. In the police records, there is nothing mentioning Kim Lee's intoxicated state.
However, the provincial prosecutor Mr. Ty Sovathal decided to charge both men of intentionally causing injury and sent the case to investigating judge for further action.
|Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Oth-JC-2008-KTH001, investigating report by In Kong Cheat|
|PFEx2008_KPT001||Journalist Hurt by Slingshot While Conducting an Investigation into Illegal Logging||Kampong Thom||Santuk||Kraya||6/27/2008||5/1/2009||Ry Neou||Cambodian||Reporter||Research. The journalists were investigating illegal logging in the area when they were attacked by unidentified men with the slingshot.||Meatophum||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Ry Neou sustained a serious injury to the face. He filed a complaint with the local police, but they failed to to act saying they could not take action because their supervisor was not present.||None.||On June 27, 2008, Ry Neou, a journalist for the newspaper Meatophum in Kampong Thom, suffered serious injury from a slingshot fired by men allegedly involved in illegal logging. The attack took place while Ry Neou was riding his motorcycle from Rolea Tong village, Kraya commune, Santouk district (about 100 meters from the base of the alleged illegal logging business).|
Ry Neou’s colleague said that he had been investigating the alleged illegal logging business. A group of men shot at him with a slingshot, causing him a serious facial injury and as a result of which he crashed his motorcycle and briefly lost consciousness. The attackers fled after Ry Neou called to nearby villagers for help. Ry Neou identified the attacker and filed a complaint with the local police, but they failed to act saying their supervisor was not present.
|Kampuchea Thmei Daily, Journalist in Kampong Thom Hurt by Slingshot from Alleged Illegal Logging Business, June 29, 2008||Licadho, ‘Restriction on the freedom of expression in Cambodia’s Media’, a Licadho briefing paper May 2009, p.24|
|PFEx2008_KPT002||Three Journalists Arrested after Investigating the Sale and Purchase of Wood||Kampong Thom||Santuk||Kampong Thma||5/21/2008||5/31/2008||(1) Ruos Chanti; (2) Tob Suon; (3) Suon Sinat||Cambodian||Reporters||Research / article. The journalists allegedly attempted to extort money from timber owners and loggers.||(1) Samleng Santepheap; (2) Meatophum||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||Prosecutor||Charged with deception under article 45 of the UNTAC Criminal Code which is the charge of Fraud. Charges were dropped.||N/A||N/A||N/A||Kampong Thom Provincial Court of First Instance||The charges were dropped and the three journalists were released by the investigating judge||None known||Three journalists (Ruos Chanti and Tob Suon – reporters for Samleng Santepheap – and Suon Sinat, a reporter for Meatophum) were arrested by Santuk District Police under direct orders from Mr. Ti Sovinthal, a Kampong Thom court prosecutor. Police said the journalists were arrested on the accusation of attempting to extort money from the owner of the wood, while the prosecutor said they were accused of deception. |
According to the prosecutor the three journalists tried to extort Riel 450,000 (about US$115) from the owner of the wood. The prosecutor later confirmed that the person who received the Riel 450,000 was a person called Eng, and he was not one of the three journalists. The prosecutor said that he did not accuse them of extorting money because that would be "too serious", but charged them with deception, based on Article 45, which carries the punishment of detainment.
Mr. Ruos Chanti, one of the three journalists arrested and who was chained in the morning May 22 at the Santuk District Police station said that it was very painful experience, and it was not fair. “We just went to ask for information, but suddenly the prosecutor and the police arrived and the prosecutor ordered the police to arrest us”, he asserted.
It is said that wood is being loaded from Tum Ring to Kampong Thma almost every day, and almost all wood merchants pay money to the forestry officials and to the police. The Kampong Thom Forestry Administration and the Santuk District PoliceChief also allegedly receive benefits.
The Kampuchea Thmei – Khmer Language Daily – quoted a man who witnessed the event and said that the three journalists did not say anything to extort money from the owner of the wood; they simply asked where the wood was carried from, to whom money was paid, and whether there was a legal permit for the wood or not. While the wood owners were answering questions and stating that they had a legal permit and paid money duly to everyone, the police and the prosecutor arrived and the journalists were arrested.
On May 29, 2008 the three journalists were released by the Kampong Thom Court of First Instance.
|1. Kampuchea Thmei, “Three Journalists Were Arrested and Chained Just because They Asked for Information about a Truck Carrying Wood”, May 23, 2008, Vol. 7, #148. http://www.cambodiamirror.org/page/886/ , accessed August 26, 2011||FoEX-2008-KTH001, CCHR-investigation report by In Kong Cheat, May 31, 2008|
|PFEx2008_KPT003||Female Journalist Arrested and Charged with Running a Sex Business in Retaliation for Reporting on Police Beating Sex Workers||Kampong Thom||Unknown||Unknown||8/13/2008||5/3/2009||Chhorn Chansophal||Cambodian||Reporter||Research / article and photographs of police beating sex workers.||Rasmei Eysan||Khmer||x||x||x||Prosecutor||Charged with running illegal sex business (sources unclear as to the exact violation).||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||None known||A female journalist was arrested in Kampong Thom following an allegation that she was running a prostitution business. |
Mrs. Chhorn Chansophal, a female reporter for Rasmei Eysan newspaper, was arrested by a group of Kampong Thom provincial police under the court's arrest warrant. Chansophal was arrested and charged with running a sex business. She denied the charge and claimed that she took pictures of police beating sex workers who angered them and resulted in the charge as retaliation.
|Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_KPT004||Three Journalists Accused of Extortion of Loggers||Kampong Thom||Unknown||Unknown||12/9/2008||5/3/2009||(1) Yun Yomon; (2) Roeun Ra; (3) Som Mao||Cambodian||(1) and (2) reporters and (3) Vice Chairman of Rasmey Borei||Research / article. The trio were accused of blackmailing local villagers carrying wood from Kampong Thom forest.||Rasmey Borei||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Prosecutor||Extortion, Blackmail (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal charges)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||None known||On December 9, 2008, three journalists who claimed they worked for the Rasmey Borei newspaper were arrested for extortion in Kampong Thom province. Local police said that the "unprofessional journalists" demanded US$10 from loggers who passed by with wood on their oxcarts. |
The three journalists were Yun Yomon and Roeun Ra - both of whom were self-employed reporters for Rasmey Borei - and Som Mao, vice-chairman of the Rasmey Borei newspaper. The trio were arrested and charged by the local police with blackmailing loggers.
|Chrann Chamoeun, "Fake journalists arrested", The Phnom Penh Post, December 12, 2008, http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2008121223173/National-news/in-brief-fake-journalists-arrested.html||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2009_KPT001||Six Local Journalists Arrested for Extorting Money From Fisherman while Impersonating Police||Kampong Thom||Stoung||Peambang||3/15/2009||4/8/2009||(1) Um Yom; (2) Soem Sophea; (3) Din Siemleng; (4) Pao Saroeurn; (5) Hour Sopha; (6) Ek Kong||Cambodian||Reporters||Impersonating military police to extort money from fishing community members.||(1) Snadai Khmeng Wat, (2) Angkor Kampuchea, (3) Cambodian Watchdog Association, (4) Samleng Chunpikar, (5) Chalana Sangkum, 6. Chet Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Villagers||Extortion and Forgery (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Kampong Thom Provincial Court of First Instance||Unknown||None known||Kampong Thom Provincial Police officials arrested eight men, accusing them of extorting money from fishery community members in Boeung Tonle Sap in Stoung district. |
The Kampong Thom police chief Mr. Chea San said that the men were arrested on March 15, 2009 and were charged with forgery and extorting money from fishermen in Peambang commune.
The group of men, six of whom had press passes, were arrested after they allegedly dressed up as military police and robbed local residents. The fishermen said the group extorted 1,610,000 riels (about US$ 400) from them by threatening to fine them for illegal fishing. The men arrested were (1) Um Yom, reporter of Snadai Khmeng Wat, (2) Soem Sophea, reporter of Angkor Kampuchea, (3) Din Siemleng, a reporter and member of Cambodian Watchdog Association, (4) Pao Saroeurn, reporter of Samleng Chunpikar (Voice of Disabled Person), (5) Hour Sopha, reporter of Chalana Sangkum (Society Movement), (6) Ek Kong, reporter of Chet Khmer, and two villagers Mam Moeurn and Lim Line.
According to the provincial prosecutor, Mr. Pen Sarath, the men would face five to ten-years in prison if they were found guilty. The investigating judge was still searching for an AK-47 assault rifle and a pair of handcuffs that police claimed were used by the accused.
The President of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, Mr. Pen Samithy, confirmed that the men had press passes but was unsure as to whether these were genuine or not. He added that he did not believe the six men to be real journalists and called for a proper investigation.
|Chrann Chamroeun, “Eight K Thom men charged with extortion, impersonating police”, The Phnom Penh Post, March 18, 2009||Saoyuth, “5 Journalists Arrested for Extortion in Kampong Thom”, Radio Free Asia, March 16, 2009, http://www.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/journalists-arrested-for-extortion-03162009224721.html , accessed March 17, 2009||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily, “Club of Journalist Call on Investigation over the Arrest of Journalist in Kampong Thom”, April 8, 2009|
|PFEx2010_KPT001||Media Publisher Convicted of Extortion and Fraud||Kampong Thom||Baray||Unknown||7/20/2010||12/1/2010||Horn Dara Huol||Cambodian||Publisher||Breach of license (Used a press license plate not registered with the Ministry of Information) and Extorion (allegedly set up road checkpoints to extort money from wood vendors.)||Chhanteak Kuon||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||Military Police official (Khuon Bunhuor)||Fraud (article 45 of the UNTAC Criminal Code), Extortion||Fraud and extortion||4-Aug-10||Imprisonment (24 months, 23 of which suspended)||Deputy Provincial Prosecutor Seng Meng Sruong||Prosecutor has appealed the sentence and Horn remains in detention.||None known||The media publisher Horn Dara Huol (Chheanteak Kuon newspaper) was convicted in Kampong Thom on charges of fraud and extortion for using a press license plate which was not registered with the Ministry of Interior. He was arrested on 20 July and convicted on 4 August 2010.|
Khuon Bunhuor, the military police chief of Kampong Thom’s Baray District, claimed that Horn Dara Huol had set up “checkpoints” where he would stop wood vendors and demand money, often next to police officers. Allegedly, he also threatened timber vendors with writing stories that would damage their reputation if they didn’t pay him a bribe.
Horn Dara Huol was convicted a few months after the initial arrest and sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, with 23 months suspended. However, the prosecution appealed the verdict and Horn Dara Huol remains in detention.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 48 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||http://khmernz.blogspot.com/2010/07/publisher-accused-of-fraud-and.html||Phnom Penh Post, July 23, 2010, p 6||Phnom Penh Post, August 5, 2010, p 6||http://www.sithi.org/temp.php?url=media_view.php&mid=2292|
|PFEx2010_KPT002||Newspaper Editor Convicted for Breach of the Traffic Law||Kampong Thom||Baray||Chong Doung||8/3/2010||8/5/2010||Khon Darahoul||Cambodian||Editor||Using "press" license plate||Chhantah Kohn Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||Allegedly detained for minor traffic incident after police found out about his profession.||Police (Khorn Sokol)||Using a fake license plate (Article 77 of Traffic Law)||Illegally using a press license plate on his car||4-Aug-10||Imprisonment (24 months, 23 of which suspended)||Kompong Thom Provincial Court, Judge Khorn Sokol||Unknown||None known||The editor of the newspaper Chhantah Kon Khmer, Khon Darahoul was summoned to appear in court and convicted on 3 August 2010 over accusations of breaching the Traffic Law. |
The 47-year old journalist was accused of using a car license plate only marked “Press” in Chong Dong Commune, Baray District on 20 July 2010, which is illegal under Article 77 of the Traffic Law according to Khorn Sokol, president of Kompong Thom Provincial Court, and carries a possible sentence ranging from one to five years imprisonment.
Sok Sovann, president of the Press Council of Cambodia, spoke out on behalf of Khorn Darahoul, arguing that this was the first ever case heard by Kompong Thom Provincial Court over a press license plate. He claimed that such press license plates were widely used by local journalists and condemned the case as a crackdown on freedom of expression. Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodian Institute of Media Studies also advocated on the journalist’s behalf and stated that a fair punishment would be to simply remove the license plate as it had not been used for any criminal activity.
In a further twist, Khorn Darahoul’s wife, Kim Chamroeurn claimed that shortly before the trial court clerk Van Seng asked for a bribe to reduce her husband’s sentence, initially demanding 10 million Riel. After negotiations she agreed to pay 7 million Riel (approximately US $1,660). Van Seng, however, denied the allegations and argued that he was in too small a position to accept such a sum. According to Kim Chamroeurn, he returned the money when members of the press began asking him about the alleged bribe.
Khorn Darahoul was ultimately sentenced to one month imprisonment (of which he had already served two weeks) and a further 23 months suspended.
|The Cambodia Daily, August 3, 2010, p 23||The Cambodia Daily, August 5, 2010, p 26|
|PFEx2008_KDL001||Journalist's Camera Memory Card Confiscated||Kandal||Kien Sway||Koki||6/15/2008||5/3/2009||Mao Sandos||Cambodian||Reporter||Photograph and memory stick (taking photo of military forces accompanying three timber trucks)||Chakraval (Universe)||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||Confiscation of property (memory stick) by military personnel||On June 15, 2008, military personnel, who were protecting trucks carrying illegal timber, confiscated a memory stick from a camera belonging Mr. Mao Sandos, a Chrakrval (Universe) newspaper reporter. Five other journalists (unnamed) were also threatened and told not to take photographs of the activites of the multi-forces who checked three timber trucks in Koki commune of Kien Svay district in Kandal Province.||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_KDL002||Journalist and Family Threatened by Unidentified Armed Men||Kandal||Unknown||Unknown||12/25/2008||5/3/2009||Im Somphan||Cambodian||Reporter||Unknown (alleged general threat against journalist)||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily||Khmer||x||x||Yes, by/on behalf of journalist on December 25, 2008.||Sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||None||On December 25, 2008, Im Somphan, journalist of Rasmei Kampuchea daily, lodged a complaint with Kandal provincial police accusing unidentified men of riding a motor-bike and shooting into the air to threaten him and his family. Im Somphan asked the police to conduct an investigation in order to find the criminals. (further information not available)||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_KRT002||Closure of Angkor Rata Radio Station FM 105.25||Kratie||Kratie||O'Russey||5/28/2008||6/11/2008||N/A||Cambodian||Radio Station||Selling airtime to NGOs and airing programs by minority political parties. (Alleged breach of contract between the radio station and the Ministry of Information regarding selling of air-time to other entities without permission from the Ministry of Information)||Angkor Ratha FM 105.25 radio station||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The Angkor Ratha Radio Statio FM 105.25 in Kratie had been shut down by the Ministry of Information. The Minister of Information said the Ministry will not allow the station to reopen.||On May 28, 2008, the Ministry of Information of Cambodia issued a Prakas (Declaration) No 216 MOIF to shut down an independent radio station, Angkor Ratha (FM 105.25), in Kratie province. |
The station, whose headquarters are in Siem Reap province, was granted a license to broadcast on January 30, 2008. This license, issued by Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, specified that the station staff must obtain Ministry of Information permission before selling air-time to anyone. However, FM 105.25 began broadcasting in Kratie province on May 15, 2008 and sold air-time to three non-governmental organizations, including the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Voice of Democracy and Solidarity and Community Development Association without first seeking MOIF permission.
The station also aired programs prepared and paid for by political parties such as FUNCINPEC, the Norodom Ranaridh Party, the Sam Rainsy Party, the Human Rights Party and the League for Democracy Party. These programs were identical to those broadcasted by an affiliated radio station in Siem Reap province, which is owned by the same owner as FM 105.25 and which has operated for three years.
Only 13 days after FM 105.25 began broadcasting, the station’s staff were called by the Provincial Information Department for questioning over the selling of radio air-time to political parties. On May 28, 2008, Khieu Kanharith reversed his earlier decision and cancelled the station’s license, only saying that the station had abused the principles provided by the license terms.
On June 5, 2008, Cambodian human rights group LICADHO appealed to the government to allow the immediate reopening of the station without any censorship or other restriction on its broadcasting. The Minister of Information denied the appeal saying that the government would not allow the station to continue its broadcasting because the station owner broke the broadcast licensing agreement. He stated that “before making an appeal, LICADHO should first look into the Angkor Ratha radio station’s agreement in Kratie province”.
Keo Ratha, the station’s owner, has acknowledged breaking his original agreement with the ministry, which states that he must inform the ministry if he sells air-time to other entities.
|1. Human Rights Watch, Cambodia Release Jailed Editor – Journalists and Opposition Members Under Attack as Election Near, June 11, 2008, http://www.hrw.org/news/2008/06/10/cambodia-release-jailed-editor , accessed August 25, 2011||1. Chun Sakada, “Kratie Radio Will Not Reopen: Ministry”, VOA Khmer, June 6, 2008, http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2008/06/kratie-radio-will-not-reopen-ministry.html , accessed August 25, 2011||1. Licadho, media statement, “Free Expression and Democracy: Government Should Lift Ban on Ratio Station”, June 5, 2008||1. Suon Bunthoeurn, “Ministry of Information shut down Radio station FM 105.25 in Kratie province”, CCHR-investigation report, May 30, 2008||1. Ministry of Information, Declaration No 73 MOIF-Dec, license, June 30, 2008||1. Ministry of Information, Declaration on cancellation of license of Radio Station Angkor Ratha FM 105.25, Declaration No 216 MOIF-Dec, May 28, 2008|
|PFEx2009_KRT001||Kratie Deputy Police Chief Intimidated Journalists with Gun||Kratie||Unknown||Unknown||5/19/2009||5/21/2009||Unknown (2 journalists)||Unknown||Reporters||Reporting / Photograph (taking photographs of the police in the operation of re-arrest the suspect who allegedly attempted to escape with the police car even he was handcuffed.)||(1) Koh Santepheap, (2) Rasmei Kampuchea||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||At around 9:00 pm on May 19, 2009 Sous Chamroeun, Provincial military police deputy chief, was driving his Lexus 470, accompanied by some armed men. They pulled over by a car belonging to a journalist from Koh Santepheap newspaper in which another journalist from Rasmei Kampuchea newspaper was a passenger. He rolled down the window and verbally assaulted the journalists. After that he stepped out of his car to see the faces of the two men, and said ‘I have wanted to see your face for a long time'. |
According to one of the journalists, reporting anonymously, he had accidentally witnessed an incident on May 7, 2009 in which some military police officers were so careless that a perpetrator was able to drive away in the sirened police care whilst his hands were cuffed. After chasing the car the police were able to intercept it and re-arrest the perpetrator.
At the same time the journalists tried to take photographs of the event to cover the story of the military police's carelessness in allowing the suspect to escape and their use of gun-fire when re-arresting him, causing alarm in Kratie. This story was covered in the media despite threats by the military police.
|Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Sithi-Cambodian Human Rights Portal, May 19, 2009, http://www.sithi.org/temp.php?url=incident_show.php&CID=1289 , accessed August 31, 2011||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily Newspaper, “Kratie Provincial Military Police Deputy Chief Threatened the Journalist even Mid-night”, May 21, 2009|
|PFEx2010_KRT001||Two Journalists Assaulted and Threatened||Kratie||Unknown||Unknown||7/9/2010||12/1/2010||(1) Ork Ngon; (2) Thon Sok Kong||Cambodian||Reporters||Research (photographed illegal logging operation)||Not published||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||On 28 July 2010 the journalists filed a complaint in court against Chea Saing Hong for making death threats, but no action has been taken by the authorities to date.||Failure to effectively pursue the perpetrators||A military police officer assaulted and threatened two journalists after they took photographs of an allegedly illegal logging operation. |
Ork Ngon and Thon Sok Kong were researching a story on illegal logging in Kratie province at the time and claim that following their investigation, military police officer Chea Saing Hong and his colleagues forced their way into their office. The officers punched Thon Sok Kong in the face and threatened the pair that they would “disappear” if they continued their investigation. The group left but only to return later and throw rocks at the journalists’ office, destroying some of their equipment.
On 28 July 2010, the journalists filed a complaint in court against Chea Saing Hong accusing him of making death threats, but as of December 2010 it appeared that no further action had been taken on the case.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 29-30 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf|
|PFEx2010_KRT002||Seven Men Arrested on Charges of Extortion||Kratie||Kratie||Chrouy Bantaey||7/21/2010||12/1/2010||(1) Prak Tha; (2) Chhean Bo; (3) Pin Ra; (4) Yin Sovannara; (5) Heang Sokun; 2 non-journalists||Cambodian||Publisher, Reporters||Research (Attempting to question suspected illegal loggers. )||Rasmey Isan||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||N/A||Released without charge||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The Press Council of Cambodia filed a complaint on behalf of Prak Tha requesting CR$10 million as compensation for 'loss of honour'.||Confiscation of property||Seven men, including five journalists working for the newspaper Rasmey Isan and two government forestry administrators were arrested on charges of extorting money from illegal loggers in Kratie province on July 21, 2010. |
The five journalists were named as Heang Sokun, Prak Tha, Chhean Bo, Pin Ra, Yin Sovannara and had been travelling to an area in Chroy Banteay where they alleged people to be loading boats with illegal timber. When the group came across suspected illegal loggers, they stopped to question them but were arrested before they could speak. Police also confiscated Prak Tha’s car and the group’s equipment.
Available sources indicate that the five men were subsequently released without charge. Nevertheless, the Press Council of Cambodia later on filed a complaint on behalf of Prak Tha, the publisher of Rasmey Isan newspaper, seeking 10 million Riel (US $2,353) as compensation for “loss of honor” and decrying the arrest as an undue restriction on press freedom.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 48 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||Phnom Penh Post, August 16, 2010, p 6|
|PFEx2010_KRT003||Two Journalists Convicted on Charges of Defamation In Absentia||Kratie||Unknown||Unknown||8/17/2010||12/1/2010||(1) Chea Chanprakad; (2) Sun Sophal||Cambodian||(1) Publisher, (2) editor-in-chief||Article (published in April 2009 accusing Meas Sopheap, military chief of Battalion 204 of being involved in illegal logging.)||Meatophoum||Khmer||x||x||Military official (Meas Sopheap)||Defamation (Article 10 of Press Law)||Defamation||17-Aug-10||Fine (CR$2 million fine and CR$4 million compensation to be paid to Meas Sopheap)||Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Judge Din Sivuthy,||Unknown||None known||Two journalists of the newspaper Meatophoum, Chea Chan Prakad (publisher) and Sun Sophal (editor) were charged and convicted in absentia for defamation, after publishing an article accusing the military chief of Battalion 204 in Snoul District, Kratie Province, Meas Sopheap, of being involved in illegal logging.|
The article of concern was published by the pair in April 2009 and alleged that Meas Sopheap engaged in illegal timber trade and had therefore no incentive to crack down on illegal logging activities in his jurisdiction.
Meas Sopheap filed a complaint in late April 2009, claiming that the journalists had violated Article 10 of the Press Law of 1995. During the trial, Suy Sokhun the defendants’ attorney argued that the newspaper had had enough evidence to publish the article and that the plaintiff did not ask for a correction, despite his claims of inaccuracy in the reporting.
Nonetheless, Chea Chan Prakad and Sun Sophal were convicted by Judge Din Suvathy at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 5 August 2010 and ordered to pay a fine of 2 million Riel (US $471), as well as 4 million Riel (US $941) as compensation to the plaintiff.
Sun Sophal described the judge’s decision as unjust and, stating that he did not have the financial means to pay the fine, announced that he would appeal.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 49 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||The Cambodia Daily, July 24-25, 2010, p 12||The Cambodia Daily, August 18, 2010, p 24||Phnom Penh Post, August 18, p 5|
|PFEx2008_KRT001||Journalist's Press ID Cards Confiscated after Villagers Allege Extortion||Kratie||Kratie||Changkrang||3/7/2008||3/7/2008||(1) Ly Yuth; (2) Sar Phyrith; (3) Prak Nan; (4) Phat Sophann||Cambodian||Reporters||Research. Interviewing villagers and allegedly attempting to extort money from them.||(1) Phnom Penh Express News; (2) Samleng Santepheap (Voice of Peace) News||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||Press IDs were confiscated.||Villagers||Extortion, Blackmail (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal charge)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The four journalists were released after intervention from Provincial Police Commissioner. However, their Press ID cards were not returned.||Four journalists were stopped, arrested and their press identity cards that had been issued by the Ministry of Information were confiscated by Mr. Suon Nhak, the Kratie Deputy District Governor.|
Mr. Ly Yuth, a reporter for Phnom Penh Express, and Mr. Sar Phyrith, Mr. Prak Nan and Mr. Phat Sophann, reporters for Samleng Santepheap (Voice of peace) News, were stopped by a group of armed forces including two (2) military police, two (2) soldiers and other district police led by the Deputy District Governor while traveling back from a village in which they had conducted interviews on March 7, 2008.
Deputy District Governor Suon Nhak said that he ordered the armed personnel to stop and take the press ID cards from the four men because he received a complaint from eight (8) villagers accusing the men of extorting money from villagers who cut down and transported trees to build houses.
However, the men said that they never asked for money from the villagers. Instead, they claimed to interview people after they received reports from villagers that they were tricked into giving their thumbprints to the commune chief in order to obtain a social land concession. But, after receiving the concession, the authorities decided to sell the land to people from other provinces. Ly Yuth also asserted that the authorities allotted five (5) hectare plots of land to be sold for USD 800 each to people from Kampong Cham and Prey Veng.
Suon Nhak asked the journalists to go to the district office to clarify the allegation. The journalists refused to go because they feared arrest and detention.
Mr. Mara, the editor in chief of the Phnom Penh Express, strongly denied the allegation that his reporter was involved in extortion and stated that this was just an attempt by the authorities to prohibit journalists from conducting their work.
The men were released following intervention by the Provincial Police Commissioner. However, Suon Nhak did not return the press ID cards and called the journalists to meet in the district office in order to negotiate with the villagers.
|CCHR-FoEx-2008-KRAT001-the information received from phone call and investigation.|
|PFEx2009_OMC001||Eleven Journalists Threatened when Photographing Trucks Transporting Illegal Timber||Oddar Meanchey||Samrong||Kaunkriel||12/31/2009||1/16/2010||(1) Chhem Saruom; (2) Rak Duo; (3) to (9) names not given||Cambodian||Reporters||Photograph (Taking photos of soldiers after spotting them loading two trucks with felled timber)||Unknown||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||On December 31, 2009, at around 10-11pm, eleven local journalists were intimidated by some ten soldiers protecting timber trucks, in Kol village, Kaunkriel commune, Samrong town, Oddar Meanchey province while they were taking photographs of the trucks.|
According to one of the journalists, Chhem Saruom, a member of the Cambodian Journalists Watchdog Association, he and the other reporters were held for two hours on the Thursday by a group of ten soldiers in Samrong district. He said that the reporters had approached the soldiers and photographed them after spotting them loading two trucks with felled timber.
Rak Dou, another reporter who said he was detained, said that writing stories about illegal logging in the province was particularly dangerous “because the loggers are so powerful”.
Mr. Chhem Saruom added that the armed forces were from the Border Unit and were hired to protect the transportation of timber. Mr. Pen Samithi said that he had also received this information. He considered it to be a violation of the freedom of access to information, but also acknowledged that some journalists were assaulted and intimidated for trying to extort money from illegal loggers.
|Radio Free Asia, “11 Journalists Threatened and Detained by Soldiers Who Transport Logs”, January 1, 2010, http://.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/soldiers-threaten-11journalists-01012010070501.html , accessed January 16, 2010||Illegal Logging, “Reporters Urge Government Protection”, January 5, 2010, http://www.illegal-logging.info/item_single.php?it_id=4046&it=news&printer=1 , accessed August 31, 2011||Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Sithi-Cambodian Human Rights Portal, “Eleven Journalists Intimidated as Photographing Two Timber Transporting Trucks”, http://sithi.org/temp.php?url=incident_show.php&CID=1349 , accessed August 31, 2011|
|PFEx2008_PLN001||Pailin Municipal Department of Information Threatens to Close Radio Australia||Pailin||Unknown||Unknown||6/11/2008||6/13/2008||Sok Savy||Cambodian||Reporter||Broadcast (Broadcasting the allegation that the Pailin Municipality authorities mis-implementation of court verdict regarding dismantling houses in the Pailin Special Economic Zone.)||Radio Australia-Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||Revocation of broadcasting license threatened.||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The journalist continues to exercise his profession||Closure of publication/broadcast||On June 11, 2008, Sok Savy, a reporter for Radio Australia-Khmer, received a phone call from Kong Duong, the director of Pailin Municipality Department of Information. Savy alleges that Duong had shouted at him and accused him of broadcasting disinformation, saying “you aired the disinformation which you’ve got only from one side without a proper investigation and it would make audience misunderstand. I would finish the contract between Radio Australia and Radio Pailin”.|
The threat of closure occurred just after Savy covered the story of the land conflict between Pailin municipal authorities and villagers. In his report, Savy quoted a speech by the provincial coordinator for human rights group LICADHO which asked the Pailin authorities to compensate seven families who became homeless after the Pailin authorities, on June 5-6, 2008, led by the Pailin Municipality Deputy Governor Mr. Ich Saro, allegedly mis-implemented a court verdict to dismantle several villagers’ houses. It is said that the court ordered them to dismantle only four houses which were anarchically constructed on Pailin Special Economic Zone. But, when the authorities came to enforce the decision, about 100 houses were dismantled.
Relating to this allegation, Savy said that he tried to call Ich Saro as well as Klok Nouy to clarify the accusation, but they did not answer his call. Kong Duong said that he just wanted to correct the reporter and remind him to be independent and neutral.
|The Cambodian Center for Human Rights, FoEX-2008-PLIN001, investigation report by In Kong Cheat, June 13, 2008|
|Not coded||Journalists Detained by IBI Security Guards||Phnom Penh||Dangkor||Kakab||11/18/2011||11/18/2001||Unknown (2 journalists)||Cambodian||Reporters||Research (investigating allegations of cheating of employees by company)||Unknown||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The two journalists will file complaints in court||Staff from IBI alleged that IBI was cheating them. Two journalists went to investigate those claims but were detained by two hours by security guards for the company. The journalists have said they will file complaints against the chief of security for IBI.||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily Newspaper (Volume 5660, 19-Nov-11)|
|PFEx2008_PNP001||Police Detain Reporter Over Suspicious Death Investigation||Phnom Penh||Mean Chey||Unknown||1/28/2007||5/1/2008||So Visal||Cambodian||Reporter||Photographs and research. Visal was investigating information that a worker had died at the site of the destruction of a Buddha statue.||Voice of Democracy (VOD) Radio||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The journalist was released, but the pictures in his digital camera were deleted by the police.||(1) Confiscation of property, (2) Arbitrary/Illegal arrest or detention, (3) Censorship/restriction on the media||In December, 2007 a Voice of Democracy (VOD) reporter investigating the removal of a statue from a pagoda claimed to have been detained by military and police officers, who deleted photographs from his camera before releasing him.|
According to the Cambodia Daily issue of January 29, 2008, VOD reporter So Visal was questioned on January 28, 2008 by the Ministry of Interior over an incident in December 2007 in which he was detained by the police while reporting on the demolition of a large statue of Buddha.
Visal claimed police officers detained him for almost one hour on December 24, 2007 and deleted the pictures on his digital camera when he tried to report on the demolition of the Buddha statue at the Niraud Rainsey Pagoda in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. The Buddha statue was reportedly demolished because it was encroaching on the road.
So Visal had received information that a worker had died at the site, and went there to investigate. No death was subsequently confirmed. A police official from the Ministry of Interior later apologized to So Visal.
|The Cambodia Daily, ‘Police Question Reporter Over December Detainment’, January 2008||Licadho, ‘Restrictions on the freedom of expression in Cambodia’s Media’, a Licadho briefing paper May 2009, p.20 (http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/130LICADHOFreedomofExpressionBriefingPaper2009-Eng.pdf)|
|PFEx2008_PNP002||Two Journalists Detained for Reporting on Land Dispute in Phnom Penh||Phnom Penh||Mean Chey||Prek Pra||1/30/2008||2/6/2008||(1) Chum Sophal; (2) Kong Sopheak||Cambodian||(1) Reporter for Khmer M chas Srok and (2) reporter for Solanh Khmer||Photograph and research. They were taking photographs of the police during a dispute between two major companies Phanimex and Sok Kong Import-Export Co., Ltd and three families.||(1) Khmer Mchas Srok, (2) Solanh Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The two journalists were released.||Two journalists who were reporting on a land dispute in a village were harassed by police for taking pictures of the incident.|
On 30 January 2008, journalists Chum Sophal and Kong Sopheak, from the local newspapers "Khmer Mchas Srok" and "Solanh Khmer", respectively, went to Au Andong village in Prek Pra commune, Meanchey district, to cover the confrontation between two major companies, Phanimex and Sok Kong Import Export Co Ltd, and the villagers.
As Sopheak was photographing police in the act of removing the poles that demarcated the land in dispute, the police got angry and shouted at him ordering that the photos be deleted. They did not press the matter when Sopheak refused to hand over his camera, according to the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists, who said that the officers in question might have been drunk.
|SEAPA/IFEX, “Police attempt to stop journalists from photographing land dispute”, February 6, 2008, http://www.ifex.org/cambodia/2008/02/06/police_attempt_to_stop_journalists/ , August 31, 2011||Cambodian Center for Human Rights, For immediate Release: Two journalists detained over investigative reporting on land evictions and implicating local companies, Sem Chao Sok, January 31, 2008|
|PFEx2008_PNP003||SRP MP Eng Chhay Ieng Sues CTN Commentator Soy Sopheap to Keep Interview Off the Air||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||2/20/2008||2/21/2008||Soy Sopheap||Cambodian||Commentator||Reporting. Sopheap interviewed a former SRP activist who alleged that Mr. Eng Chay Ieng (claimant), SRP lawmaker, entered a casino in Poipet.||Cambodian Television Network||Khmer||x||x||x||Eng Chay Ieng (SRP lawmaker)||Defamation and disinformation (article 63 of the UNTAC Criminal Code and Article 10 of Press Law)||Lawsuit dropped||N/A||N/A||Phnom Penh Municipality Court of First Instance||"A Sam Rainsy Party Lawmaker brought a legal action against a commentator of Cambodian Television Network (CTN) – a pro-government television channel – for defamation and disinformation.|
Eng Chhay Ieng, the Sam Rainsy Party general secretary, in his complaint addressed to the Phnom Penh Municipality Court of First Instance on February 20, 2008, accused Soy Sopheap of committing defamation and disinformation. Chay Ieng wanted the court to censor Sopheap's interview with a former SRP activist on February 19, in which the activist alleged Eng Chay Ieng entered a Poipet casino.
Soy Sopheap was charged under the Article 63 amendment to the UNTAC Criminal Code and Article 10 of Press Law.
On February 6, 2009, Oeu Sam Ol, assistant of Sam Rainsy, wrote a letter to the Phnom Penh court requesting that they withdraw the defamation lawsuit filed by Eng Chhay Ieng, the former secretary general of Sam Rainsy Party, against Soy Sopheap. "
|Eng Chay Ieng, complaint against Soy Sopheap, dated February 20, 2008||Association of Cambodia National Journalist for Freedom, Press Release, February 21, 2008||KI-Media, “SRP Lawmakers Sues CTN Journalist”, February 21, 2008, http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2008/02/srp-lawmaker-sues-ctn-journalist.html , accessed February 22, 2008|
|PFEx2008_PNP004||Publisher of Sralanh Khmer Defects to CPP after Death Threats||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||3/13/2008||3/18/2008||Thach Khet||Cambodian||Publisher||General (Received a death threat from the Prime Minister's nephew, Hun To, after printing an article about a land dispute and corruption in Rattanakiri)||Sralanh Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The victim changed his political affiliation from pro-opposition Sam Rainsy Party, to the pro-government Cambodian's People Party||Death threats||Thach Khet, the editor of daily opposition paper Salanh Khmer and also a former member of the SRP steering committee, resigned from the SRP and defected to the CPP on March 13, 2008. The Kampuchea Thmei reported that his defection from the SRP was due to the fact that Hun Sen rewarded him with the position of government advisor with a rank equivalent to that of state secretary in exchange for an agreement not to continue with the opposition press. Thach Khet did not directly corroborate this but confirmed that he had changed the newspaper’s policy of criticizing the government and also changed his political affiliation. |
Thach Khet had previously been subjected to threats and intimidation. On the night of December 12, 2007 unidentified people tried to run him off the road after he had left work. The previous year he reportedly received a death threat from the Prime Minister’s nephew, Hun To, after printing an article about a land dispute and corruption in Rattanakiri. On June 17, 2008, Sralanh Khmer News stopped publishing due to budget constraints and a fall in readership.
|Yun Samean, The Cambodia Daily, ‘Sralanh Khmer Newspaper Publisher Confirms Defection to CPP’, March 18, 2008||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily Newspaper, ‘Sralanh Khmer Newspaper Changes Direction’, March 18, 2008|
|PFEx2008_PNP005||Radio Free Asia Reporter Received Death Threats||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||4/10/2008||9/13/2008||Lem Piseth||Cambodian||Reporter||General (Lem Piseth has a reputation for investigating and reporting some of the more sensitive stories such as the illegal logging occuring in Prey Lang forest.)||Radio Free Asia||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Fled to Thailand. In January 2009, Lem Piseth and his family received asylum in Norway.||Death threats||"Lem Piseth, a reporter of Radio Free Asia (RFA) reportedly received death threats from an unidentified person. On April 10, 2008, Piseth's daughter eventually found six AK-47 bullets in front of their rented house in Battambang province. |
Three days later in Phnom Penh at around 6 pm a group of eight men on motorcycles followed Lem Piseth on his motorcycle along a relatively quiet street. The group then overtook him and three to four men riding on the back turned around and threateningly pointed fingers at him.
It is reported that Piseth had previously received death threats in relation to sensitive topics about which he investigated and reported. On February 15, 2008, an unidentified person sent a text message inviting him to meet at Chhaya Restaurant. Piseth rang the number but no one answered his phone call.
On 16 June 2007, shortly after the broadcasting of his story into alleged illegal logging activities and the release of the subsequently banned Global Witness Report: Cambodia's Family Trees which contained similar allegations, Lem Piseth received a phone call from a number he did not recognize. The unidentified male caller told him that he was very insolent and asked him whether he wanted to die, because he had written and investigated the forestry industry. The man on the phone also threatened him, telling him to be careful, and that 'there will not be enough land to bury him'. The unknown caller then hung up and when Lem Piseth tried calling the number back, the phone number led to a public pay phone. Following the phone call Lem Piseth immediately fled to the Thailand-Cambodia border.
In 2005, Lem Piseth also received serious threats while covering an alleged illegal logging operation run by a relative of Prime Minister Hun Sen in Tum Ring, Kampong Thom. "
|Licadho, ‘Radio Free Asia Journalist Flees Cambodia After Once More Receiving Deaths Threats’, May 8, 2008, http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/articles/20080508/74/index.html, accessed September 13, 2011||Licadho, 'Restrictions on the freedom of expression in Cambodia’s Media', a Licadho briefing paper May 2009, p.22 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/130LICADHOFreedomofExpressionBriefingPaper2009-Eng.pdf|
|PFEx2008_PNP006||CPP Figure Threatens To Sue Khmer Machas Srok News||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/2/2008||5/1/2009||Hang Chakra||Cambodian||Editor-in-chief||Article accusing government member Sok Pheng of involvement in corruption.||Khmer Mchas Srok||Khmer||x||x||x||Sok Pheng (opposition defector and government advisor)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||In July 2008, an opposition defector and government advisor Sok Pheng threatened to sue Hang Chakra, publisher and also editor-in-chief, after his paper published an article alleging that Sok Pheng was involved in corrupt activities.|
Sok Pheng was a former SRP representative, and then-government advisor and deputy director of the CPP central committee. On July 2, 2008, he instructed the editor-in-chief of the Khmer Mchas Srok newspaper to stop publishing articles affecting his reputation or he would sue the paper. The articles discussed his alleged role in corrupt activities. The newspaper's editor-in-chief rejected the move, telling Kampuchea Thmei Daily newspaper that Sok Pheng was merely a citizen and not the King (whose reputation is protected under the Constitution).
|Kampuchea Thmei Daily newspaper, Sok Pheng To Sue Khmer Machas Srok If It Continues Publishing Articles Affecting His Reputation, July 2, 2008.||Licadho, ‘Restrictions on the freedom of expression in Cambodia’s Media’, a Licadho briefing paper May 2009, p.24 (http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/130LICADHOFreedomofExpressionBriefingPaper2009-Eng.pdf)|
|PFEx2008_PNP007||Journalist and his son Killed in Phnom Penh||Phnom Penh||Phnom Penh||Unknown||7/11/2008||6/16/2009||(1) Khim Sambo; (2) Khat Sarinpheata||Cambodian||(1) Reporter (2) Student||General. Khim Sambo regularly wrote pieces critical of the government and government officials, including a detailed report about a "senior police official" who was not named as one of the country's most dangerous men and alleged that he went to a casino in Bavet, on the 25 June 2008 and lost all his money, used threats to obtain credit from the casino and arrested staff when they refused to lend him more.||Moneaksekar Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Khim Sambo and his son, were killed. No suspects prosecuted.||At 6:30 p.m. on July 11, 2008, Khim Sambo, 47, and his son, Khat Sarinpheata, 21, were fired upon numerous times by a man riding on the back of a motorcycle near the Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, where Sambo and his son had been exercising. Sambo died at the scene. His son died the following day in hospital. |
Sambo had been a reporter for more than 10 years for Moneaksekar Khmer (Khmer Conscience), a newspaper affiliated with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). It is one of the few newspapers in Cambodia that is not dominated by the government or the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which also controls most television and radio stations. Sambo was known for his hard-hitting articles about government corruption, political affairs, and land grabbing.
|Human Rights Watch, "Cambodia: Murder of Journalis Jolts Run-Up to Election" , July 16, 2008,||http://www.hrw.org/news/2008/07/15/cambodia-murder-journalist-jolts-run-election , accessed September 9, 2011||http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2008/07/fbi-could-probe-journalists-murder.html||http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2008/07/15/cambodia-murder-journalist-jolts-runelection||http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/topic,463af2212,488edfb42,4880a46dc,0.html||http://en.rsf.org/cambodia-who-masterminded-journalist-khim-15-10-2008.28956.html||http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2008/07/moneakseka-khmer-journalist-khim-sambo.html|| http://www.bt.com.bn/asia_news/2008/07/13/cambodian_journalist_son_gunned_|
|PFEx2008_PNP008||Opposition Journalists Suspect That Secret Police Are Watching Them||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/12/2008||5/1/2009||(1) Vong Sopheak; (2) Vong Sopheap||Cambodian||Reporters||Unknown (The reporters said that the police were conducting a secret investigation of their activities, and took photos of them.)||Moneaksekar Khmer||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||Two reporters from the opposition-aligned newspaper Moneakseka Khmer feared that police were conducting a secret investigation of their activities.|
Vong Sopheak and his brother, Vong Sopheap, both journalists at the newspaper, said a group of men followed and photographed them during a demonstration on August 17, 2008 in front of the Free Trade Union office. The demonstration was to protest the presence of Thai soldiers at the Preah Vihear temple complex.
"A journalist at the event told me the men asked about me and wanted to know what newspaper I worked for," Vong Sopheap said. "They already knew we worked for Moneakseka Khmer."
The brothers claimed that they had been followed several times since July 12, 2008, when they took part in a celebration for slain Moneakseka Khmer journalist Khim Sambo, who had been shot dead along with his son the previous day. A group of plain-clothed men had taken several photographs of them at that event, Vong Sopheap said.
The same group of men followed the brothers during the trade union demonstration, Vong Sopheap said, adding that he and his brother argued with the men when they began taking pictures of them and demanded that the photos be deleted.
|Meas Sokchea: The Phnom Penh Post, Opposition Journalists Fear Secret Police Are Watching, August 20, 2008||Licadho, 'Restriction on the freedom of expression in Cambodia’s Media', a Licadho briefing paper May 2009, p.26, www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/130LICADHOFreedomofExpressionBriefingPaper2009-Eng.pdf|
|PFEx2008_PNP009||FM 93.5 Radio Station Ordered to Suspend its Operation||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/16/2008||5/3/2009||N/A||N/A||N/A||Broadcast covering political issues.||FM 93.5 radio||Khmer||x||x||License revoked because the station allegedly violated the election rule which bans any broadcasting political issues 39 hours before Election Day.||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The station was allowed to re-open and continue operating.||On July 15, 2008, the Ministry of Information decided to suspend FM 93.5 radio station's operation, accusing the station of violating the election rule which bans any broadcasting of political issues 39 hours before the Election Day. Later, on July 26, 2008, the ministry decided to permit the station to operate normally again.||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_PNP010||Sophoan (Beauty) Magazine Sued by the Director of Bayon Radio and TV Station||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||8/14/2008||8/20/2008||San Bunthoeurn||Cambodian||Reporter||Article alleging the exitence of a love triangle between Bayon programme manager Tit Thavrith, actress Sim Solika and a second man, Por Sam Oeun. The Bayon director then accused San Buthoeurn, writer of Beauty magazine of extorting money and publishing defamatory story.||Sophoan (Beauty) Magazine||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Complaint by director of Bayon radio and television||Defamation (article 63 of the UNTAC Criminal Code and article 10 of Press Law) and Disinformation (article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Beauty magazine still in publication.||On August 14, 2008, the Director-General of Bayon Radio and Television, Mrs Hun Mana, sent a complaint to the Ministry of Information accusing a writer and a journalist of Sophoan (Beauty) Magazine of publishing a defamatory story. She also asked the minister to take action against accused journalist.|
The letter accused San Bunthoeurn of defamation stemming from a story he published in the August 15-31 issue of his publication. In the story, he described an alleged love triangle between Bayon program manager Tit Thavarith, actress Sim Solika, and a second man, Por Sam Oeun.
The August 15 article also allegedly damaged the honor and popularity of Bayon. According to the complaint, San Bunthoeurn had tried to extort money (of about $3,000) from actors and high-level staff at the station and had previously tried to get a job there.
San Bunthoeurn defended his story against criticisms raised in the letter saying "I based it on anonymously sourced comments of staff and actors." He added that he had not asked for money, but said Tit Thavarith tried to prevent the publication of the story. Khieu Kanharith said he would not pursue legal action against the magazine as it was a private matter.
|http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2008082021287/National-news/PM-s-daughter-Hun-Mana-lashes-out-at-magazine-journalist.html||http://www.asiafinest.com/forum/lofiversion/index.php/t171469.html||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_PNP011||A Military Police Officer Threatens to Kill Journalist Over Gasoline Smuggling Story||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||8/27/2008||5/1/2009||Unknown||Cambodian||Reporter||Article about goods-smuggling from Takhmau to Phnom Penh.||Kampuchea Thmei||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||Death threats||Ann Sorida, alias Chrek, a military police officer, reportedly threatened the life of a Kandal-based journalist from Kampuchea Thmei Daily Newspaper [name not given] who wrote articles about goods-smuggling, especially gasoline smuggling, from Takhmau to Phnom Penh. |
It is said that Ann Sorida warned the journalist that he could hire killers to do the job:'For the life of a journalist, [I] just pay 5,000 dollars for killers to shoot him dead if he wants to interfere in other people's business.'
|Kampuchea Thmei Daily newspaoer, Illegal Gasoline Smuggled from Takhmau to Phnom Penh, Military Police Threatened and Attempted to Kill Journalist, August 27, 2008||Licadho, ‘Restrictions on the freedom of expression in Cambodia’s Media’, a Licadho briefing paper May 2009, p.27|
|PFEx2008_PNP012||Publisher Criminally Charged||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||10/7/2008||5/3/2009||Chea Chheng||Cambodian||Publisher||Unknown (allegedly stole property from others and committed an assault)||Chivith Thmei (new life) newspaper||Khmer||x||x||x||yes, by Oknha Kong Triv||Robbery and Using Violence (article 34 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||Charges dropped||N/A||N/A||N/A||Chea Chheng was released after personal negotiations between him and Oknha Kong Triv||None known||The Phnom Penh Municipal Court, on October 7, 2008, issued an arrest warrant for the publisher of Chivith Thmei (New Life) News. Chheng was charged with stealing property of others and committing violent acts. The issuance of the arrest warrant was made by the court just after it received a complaint by a Cambodian rich businessman Oknha ('Tycoon') Kong Triv. However, Chheng was released after a personal negotiation between himself and Tycoon.||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_PNP013||Ministry of Interior Requests Editor-in-Chief of Khmer Amtak Publish a Correction||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||12/9/2008||5/3/2009||Unknown||Cambodian||Editor-in-Chief||Article (specifically, a headline).||Khmer Amatak||Khmer||x||x||x||Letter sent requesting correction of allegation||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||None known||On December 9, 2008, Mr. Khieu Sopheak, spokesperson of the Ministry of the Interior, sent a letter to the Khmer Amtak newspaper Editor-in-Chief, to correct an allegation made in an article entitled “After the death of Hok Londy, Sar Kheng was found to have unusual activities”. According to the spokesperson, the allegation seriously affected the reputation of Interior Minister Sar Kheng.||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_PNP014||Moneak Seka Khmer Editor-in-Chief Accused by Prince of Defamation||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||12/18/2008||12/23/2008||Dam Sith||Cambodian||Editor-in-chief||Article. Dam Sith published a controversial story about Prince Norodom Ranariddh.||Moneaksekar Khmer||Khmer||x||x||x||Yes (letter of apology published)||Chea Chanboribo (the spokesperson of Prince Norodom Ranariddh)||Defamation (Article 10 of Press Law)||Unknown||Unknown||N/A||N/A||The charge was dropped after Moneaksekar Khmer wrote a apology letter||Prince Ranariddh threatened to take local newspaper Moneaksekar Khmer to Court for defamation. |
On December 18, 2008, Chea Chanboribo, the spokesperson for Prince Norodom Ranariddh, allegedly warned the editor-in-chief of Moneak Sekar Khmer, Dam Sith, that the prince would take legal action against him for defamation in connection with a story which damaged the prince's reputation. Chanboribo claimed that the paper printed a story accusing the prince of requesting that the King Norodom Sihamoni nominate 200 officials for the Royal Cabinet of the King.
Chea Chanboribo requested that the newspaper present written evidence signed by the Prince proving that this accusation was true, or expect to be sued.
Moneak Seka Khmer printed a letter of apology to Prince Norodom Ranariddh and no urther action was taken.
|Club of Cambodian Journalists (||http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Soc/soc.culture.cambodia/2008-12/msg00328.html|
|PFEx2009_PNP001||A Journalist Stabbed to Death, said police||Phnom Penh||Russei Keo||Unknown||1/13/2009||1/16/2009||Ban Song||Cambodian||Reporter||Unknown||Meatophoum||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The journalist was stabbed ten times. He died in the hospital one day later||Murder||A journalist was stabbed to death by two men in Phnom Penh’s Russei Keo district. On January 13, 2009, Ban Song, a 44-year-old reporter of the Meato Phoum newspaper, was stabbed ten times by two men at about 8:15 pm when he stopped his motorbike on National Road 5 in Russei Keo commune.|
The District Police Chief Chan Sahoth said that Ban Song died in Calmet hospital one day later. After the two men stabbed Ban Song, he attempted to fight off the attackers and called out for help.
One suspect, 28-year-old Yoy Thol, was arrested and put in district police custody for questioning, after first being treated for injuries allegedly caused by locals who came to Ban Song’s aid. Yoy Thol had tried unsuccessfully to get away on Ban Song’s motorbike.
Orm Chanada, publisher of Meato Phoum, said that police had not told him if the killing was linked to revenge or robbery and he called on police to bring the killers to justice.
|Saing soenthrith, “Police confirm Journalist Stabbed, Died in Hospital”, The Cambodia Daily, January 16, 2009|
|PFEx2009_PNP002||TV Presenter Sued "Nature" Magazine for Defamation||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||2/11/2009||2/24/2009||N/A||N/A||Magazine||Article (Publication of allegedly untrue and defamatory story about host of TV5)||Nature magazine||Khmer||x||x||x||Kol Davy||Defamation (article 10 of Press Law)||Unknown||Unknown||N/A||N/A||Magazine can still be found on the newstand||Restriction on rights to information||Kol Davy, a presenter for the Royal Cambodian Armed Force TV station TV5, lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Information on February 11, 2009, against “Nature” magazine for allegedly publishing untrue and defamatory information twice that has damaged her honor and reputation as a decent Khmer woman.|
Davy’s complaint was in relation to two articles: the first was an article published between 19th January- 2nd February under the title “Kol Davy was warned to stop messing around with someone’s husband”; the second was published on February 3-7, 2009 entitled “New story: Kol Davy is one month pregnant and has demanded $70,000 from her lover”. The magazine claimed that Miss Kol Davy had been warned by the woman for a second time that she must terminate the pregnancy immediately and end the affair with her husband; or else she would get into serious trouble.
Davy considered the articles published by the “Nature” magazine to have violated the Journalism Act, to be unprofessional and to have intentionally been designed and fabricated solely to destroy her reputation.
Mr. Ry Saray Andeth, publisher of the “Nature” magazine, said that what he published was true and said that he had accurate documents to support his claims. He added that his magazine never publishes false stories and that he is not afraid to face the courts. However, up until now, Saray had yet to receive any letters from the Ministry of Information summoning him to answer Kol Davy’s complaint.
|The Koh Santepheap Newspaper, “Miss Kol Davy lodged a complaint against “Nature” magazine for disinformation”, February 24, 2009, reported in English by Khmerizatio, http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2009/02/miss-kol-davy-lodged-complaint-against.html , accessed September 8, 2011|
|PFEx2009_PNP003||Samay Thmei Magazine Taken from Newsstores by Authorities||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||2/17/2009||2/19/2009||Saing Sim On||Cambodian||Editor-in-chief||Pictures (allegedly racy images)||Samay Thmei (Modern) magazine||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Publisher agreed to tone down the racy images.||On February 17, 2009, plain-clothed policemen confiscated copies of the current issue of Samay Thmei – or Modern Magazine – from roadside newstands because they allegedly contained photos of naked and scantily clad women. |
The operation was conducted a day after Hun Sen’s wife, Bun Ray, urged the government to crackdown on the spreading of such images for fear of their corrupting influence on young people.
Minister for Women’s Affairs, In Kantha Pavi, said on Wednesday that the National Committee on the Promotion of Morality, Women and Family Values had asked the editor of Samey Thmei to review the content and not disseminate it as it may be harmful the younger generations.
The Editor-in-Chief of the Samay Thmei, Mr. Saing Sim On, said that the street raid occurred without any warning the officials just went directly to collect the copies of his magazine.
Minister of Information, Khieu Kanharith, said that he was aware of one magazine publishing inappropriate images and that he had already spoken to that magazine about it. However, Municipal deputy police chief, Hy Prou, denied that authorities had confiscated the magazines. Chamkarmorn District Governor Lou Yuy and Municipal Deputy Governor Pa Socheatvong both claimed on Wednesday February 18 that they had not as yet received any information relating to the incident.
Samey Thmei Editor-in-Chief Saint Sim On acknowledged that the current issue did contain racier images than previous editions and conceded that he would tone this aspect down in subsequent publications.
|Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Sithi-Cambodian Human Rights Portal, “Authorities Seized Samey Thmei Magazine”, http://www.sithi.org/temp.php?url=incident_show.php&CID=1274 , accessed August 31, 2011||May Titthaara and Mom Kunthear, “Racy magazine lifted from newsstands”, The Phnom Penh Post, February 19, 2009||Chhorn Chansy and Adam Harju, “Confusion Remains Over Magazine Confiscations”, The Cambodia Daily, February 19, 2009||Saray, “Magazine containing racy photos being collected in Capital”, The Koh Santepheap Daily, February 18, 2009|
|PFEx2009_PNP004||Nhiek Bun Chhay Sues Soy Sopheap for Defamation on Behalf of Funcinpec Party||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||3/12/2009||3/17/2009||Soy Sopheap||Cambodian||TV-anchor||Broadcast (allegedly slandered the reputation of the Funcinpec party)||Cambodian Television Network||Khmer||x||Funcipec Secretary-General Nhiek Bun Chhay planned to hold a demonstration against Soy Sopheap for his comments on a TV show allegedly attacking the Royalist Party - Funcipec)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Positive example of freedom of expression for both Soy Sopheap and Funcinpec members engaging in protest.||Nhiek Bun Chhay, the Funcinpec Party Secretary-General, said that he and his followers would be holding a demonstration against Soy Sopheap, the star-anchor of the pro-government TV channel “Cambodian Television Network”.|
The demonstration was planned after Soy Sopheap made a comment on March 12 which Nhiek Bun Chhay claimed slandered the reputation of his party, saying that Funcinpec was once a legitimate rival to the ruling party but is now a diminished part of a coalition.
He added that his "party’s commune activists were unhappy when they heard such comments by Soy Sopheap" and that he received a number of complaints.
According to Nhiek Bun Chhay, Soy Sopheap intentionally attempted to divide solidarity between CPP and Funcinpec members and to discredit the party by claiming that it forced Siem Reap members to split their vote. He further addedd that Soy Sopheap's comments criticized the monarchy.
However, Soy Sopheap rejected the two issues, saying “I respect the monarchy, but I criticize Funcinpec”.
Nhiek Bun Chhay decided not to hold the protest until March 17, 2009.
|KI-Media, “Battle of the light weight titans: Nhiek Bun Chhay vs Soy Sopheap”, March 17, 2009, (the article from VOA-Khmer, “Party Leader to Protest TV Host Remarks” by Heng Reaksmey, March 16, 2009), http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2009/03/battla-of-mini-titans-nhiek-bun-chhay.html , accessed on May 28, 2009||Meas Sokchea, “Funcinpec claims news anchor “attacked” party”, The Phnom Penh Post, March 17, 2009|
|PFEx2009_PNP005||Government Sued Cambodia Daily Staffers for Defamation||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||4/21/2009||9/28/2009||(1) Neou Vannarin; (2) Kevin Doyle||1. Cambodian, 2. Irish||(1) Reporter, (2) editor-in-chief||Article (published an article that stating the military degrees were nothing more than padding the officers' resumes.)||The Cambodia Daily||English||x||x||x||22 high-ranking military officials||Defamation (article 10 under Press Law)||Defamation||22-Sep-09||Both found guilty and were fined each US$1,000||Phnom Penh Municipal Court||Decision appealed||A group of 22 high-ranking officials, who had just been awarded graduate degrees (on April 20, 2009) from a Vietnamese Military Academy, filed complaints with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court against two journalists of a well-known English language newspaper The Cambodia Daily.|
The Cambodia Daily's editor-in-chief, Kevin Doyle, and reporter, Neou Vannarin, were charged with defamation. The accusation came after Neou Vannarin wrote an article on April 21 entitled “RCAF Officials Earn Graduate Degrees in VN”. In the last paragraph Vannarin included a quote from SRP lawmaker Ho Vann who said the military degrees served no further purpose than to pad out the officers’ resumes. In doing so he stated that “the provided certificate is just to strengthen the receivers’ power over their subordinates, but the quality of the certificate is worthless,” he said. Vannarin was scheduled to stand trial on July 17, 2009.
Kevin Doyle, on July 10, 2009 wrote a letter addressed to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court Director Chiv Keng, Deputy Prosecutor Sok Roeun and Judge Sin Visal stating that, as editor-in-chief, he is most responsible for the article and it is him that should answer any charges, not Mr. Neou. Doyle also requested that the trial be rescheduled due to pressing family and personal matters and that he needed more time to seek legal advice.
On July 17, 2009 following a trial of less than half an hour, Judge Sin Visal told the courtroom that he agreed with Deputy Prosecutor Hing Bun Chea that the case should be sent back to the prosecution in order that they may question Kevin Doyle.
On September 22, 2009 the court found the two journalists guilty of defamation. Kevin and Neou were each fined US$ 1,000. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Sin Visal said, "the article published in their paper caused confusion among the Cambodian people and damaged the dignity of the military officers."
Opposition legislator Ho Vann, who had also been charged with defamation by a group of 22 senior military officers, was acquitted due to lack of evidence.
Doyle, an Irish national, said the newspaper would appeal against the court's ruling.
|Prak Chan Thul, “Reinvestigation Ordered in Defamation Suit”, The Cambodia Daily, July 18-19, 2009||Meas Sokchea, “Ho Vann says he did not blast the degrees”, The Phnom Penh Post, April 23, 2009||Christopher Shay and Meas Sokchea, “Rights group criticizes spate of CPP lawsuits”, The Phnom Penh Post, July 14, 2009||Kevin Doyle, “Shooting the Messenger – Defamation Charge for Daily Reporter”, The Cambodia Daily, July 13, 2009||Neou Vannarin, “RCAF Officials Earn Graduate Degrees in VN”, The Cambodia Daily, April 21, 2009||SEAPA/IFEX, "Two journalists convicted of defamation, fined", September 28, 2009, http://www.ifex.org/cambodia/2009/09/28/doyle_and_vannarin_defamation_case/ |
|PFEx2009_PNP006||Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the New Liberty News Questioned||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||4/30/2009||5/6/2009||(1) Lim Khy Hong; (2) Sek Rady||Cambodian||(1) Publisher, (2) editor-in-chief||Article (Published a March 10 article claiming that the publisher of Koh Santepeap, Mr. Thong Uy Pang, and his wife were denied an entry visa to the United States because of suspicions that they were involved in human trafficking.)||Sereypheap Thmei (The new liberty) news||Khmer||x||x||x||Thong Uy Pang (the publisher of the Pro-government newspaper Koh Santepheap Daily)||Defamation and Disinformation (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh Municipal Court||On April 30, 2009, the publisher and editor-in-chief of the pro-Sam Rainsy Party newspaper The New Liberty News, were questioned by Plang Sophal, the Municipal Court Deputy Prosecutor, over allegations of defamation and disinformation brought by the publisher of the pro-government newspaper The Koh Santepheap Daily. |
The complaints filed against Lim Khy Hong and Sek Rady, publisher and editor-in-chief of The New Liberty News respectively, came about as result of an article published in the March 10 edition of the newspaper. This article claimed that the publisher of Koh Santepheap, Thong Uy Pang, and his wife were denied an entry visa to the United States in 2003 because the American officials believed that they were involved in human trafficking.
Thong Uy Pang claimed that the article wrongly accused him of involvement in human trafficking and he filed a complaint with the Municipal Court. Thong Uy Pang, according to Prosecutor Plang Sophal, had also requested US$ 100,000 in compensation.
However, Sek Rady maintained that he had accurate evidence to support the allegation.
|Chrann Chamroeun, “Pro-SRP editor and publisher questioned”, The Phnom Penh Post, May 1, 2009||The Cambodian Center for Human Rights, FoEX-2009-PP005, investigation report dated May 6, 2009|
|PFEx2009_PNP007||A Journalist of Radio Free Asia Briefly Detained for Photographing a Public Building||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||5/20/2009||5/21/2009||Uon Chhin||Cambodian||Reporter||Photograph (Taking photos outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Public Work and Transport of a public notice)||Radio Free Asia||Khmer||x||x||x||Journalist detained by public servants in the DOT building and coerced into deleting his phorographs.||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||He was released after deleting the pictures from his cameras.||Arbitrary/Illegal arrest or Detention||On 20 May 2009, at around 10: 45am, a Radio Free Asia reporter was briefly detained for about half an hour in the office of the Department of Public Works and Transport by a group of security guards and an official. Uon Chhin was detained after taking photographs outside the Department building of an announcement board on which is stated that there were no charges for registering motorcycle license plates.|
Although he explained that photographing a public building is not illegal the security guards and official present did not allow him to do so. An official in charge of personnel administration and conflict resolution came out of the building and accused the reporter of taking photographs without permission. Later he ordered the security guard to bring the reporter to his office for questioning. The reporter was detained in the department from 10. 45 am until 11.22 am. Chhin was released after being forced to delete all the photographic evidence from his camera.
|Mao Sotheany, “A Radio Free Asia Reporter Detained”, Radio Free Asia, May 21, 2009, http://www.rfa.org/khmer/indepth/rfa-reporter-detained-05202009235046.html , accessed May 22, 2009||DAP NEWS, “A Radio Free Asia Staffer Detained by Phnom Penh Municipal Department of Public Work and Transport Official”, May 21, 2009|
|PFEx2009_PNP008||Moeung Sonn Sued CTN Commentator Soy Sopheap for Defamation||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||6/2/2009||6/3/2009||Soy Sopheap||Cambodian||TV anchor||Broadcast (Comment made on air, which comment was subsequently reprinted in a newspaper)||Cambodian Television Network||Khmer||x||x||Moeung Sonn||Defamation (article 10 of Press Law)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh municipal Court||A Cambodian Television Network commentator, Mr Soy Sopheap, was reportedly sued by the president of the Khmer Civilization Foundation (KCF), Meoung Sonn. The legal action against Soy Sopheap was brought after he made an on-air comment that allegedly damaged Sonn's reputation.|
On June 2, 2009, The Phnom Penh Post reported that Moeung Sonn’s lawyer had lodged a complaint with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court against Soy Sopheap for a statement he made on television and which was subsequently published in the newspaper Deum Ampil on June 30, 2009 entitled “The Government Officials were Displeased with the Restitution efforts on behalf of the Preah Vihear Residents”. According to Moeung Sonn, this statement by Soy Sopheap damaged his reputation for wanting justice for those affected.
KCF represents residents near Preah Vihear seeking restitution from Thai authorities for the destruction of a market by Thai forces during a border clash on April 3, 2009.
|Cheang Sokha, “TV commentator sued for defamation after Preah Vihear remark”, The Phnom Penh Post, June 2, 2009||Mom Phonn, “Meoung Sonn planned to sue Soy Sopheap for defamation”, Radio Free Asia, May 30, 2009||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily, “Moeung Sonn sued Soy Sopheap over an article commenting the refugees policies”, June 3, 2009|
|PFEx2009_PNP009||Government Sues pro-CPP Rasmei Kampuchea Newspaper||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||6/9/2009||6/12/2009||N/A||Cambodian||Newspaper||Sources unclear as the nature of the offending material, subject matter or activity||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily||Khmer||x||x||x||Government represented by Mr. Duong Loeung, the government lawyer||Sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges.||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh Municipality Court of First Instance||The newspaper is still available at the newsstand||According to the Deum Ampil Newspaper, on June 9, 2009, the Cambodian Government brought a legal action the largest pro-governmental newspaper, the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily. |
Mr. Duong Loeung, a lawyer representing the government lodged a complaint with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court against the Rasmei Kampuchea – Cambodia’s largest newspaper and ardent supporter of the ruling Cambodian People’s Partiy (CPP).
However, details of the case have been kept confidential and the reasons behind the bringing of the charges remain largely unknown. Officials have refused to provide details and Mr. Duong Loeung could not be reached for comment.
Mr. Sok Kalyan, the court's deputy prosecutor, refused to reveal the nature of the charges, saying only that the case was very complex.
However, Mr. Pen Samithy, editor-in-chief of the Rasmei Kampuchea, said that he was not aware of any government lawsuit against his newspaper.
|Deum Ampil, “The Government Sues Rasmei Kampuchea at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court”, June 12, 2009|
|PFEx2009_PNP010||Publisher Convicted in Absentia on Charges of Disinformation.||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||6/26/2009||3/23/2011||Hang Chakra||Cambodian||Editor-in-chief||Article (several articles accusing officials close to Deputy Prime Minister Sok An of corruption)||Khmer Machas Srok||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Government||Disinformation (Article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||Disinformation||26-Jun-09||Imprisonment (1 year)||Unknown||Released after a royal pardon on 13 April 2010||On 26 June 2009, Hang Chakra, publisher of the opposition-affiliated Khmer Machas Srok newspaper, was convicted in absentia on charges of disinformation. He was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 9 million Riel (USD $2,250). A few hours after the decision, Hang Chakra was arrested in Battambang province and taken to Prey Sar prison.|
Hang Chakra was summoned to the Municipal Court in Phnom Penh on 3 June 2009 to answer questions about a series of articles in which he alleged government corruption. As allowed under Article 2 of Press Law, he refused to identify his informants inside the Council of Ministers to the court.
After writing a letter of apology to Prime Minister Hun Sen, in which he promised not to write any articles pointing to corruption without proof, Hang Chakra received a Royal Pardon at Khmer New Year and was released on 13 April 2010.
Following his release Chakra denied rumors that he had joined the Cambodian People’s Party or that he would back down from the challenge of running an opposition paper.
Khmer Machas Srok was forced to shut down twice during the course of Hang Chakra’s trial due to financial difficulties. These difficulties were caused by a lack of donors after some of those previously supporting the paper had allegedly been intimidated by government officials. The paper re-launched itself online on 2 September 2010. It resumed publishing on March 23rd.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p 24 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||The Cambodia Daily, January 25, 2010, p. 26||The Cambodia Daily, February 22, 2010, pp. 1-2||The Cambodia Daily, February 24, 2010, p. 26||The Cambodia Daily, March 15, 2010, p. 27||Khmerization, March 22, 2010. http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2010/03/one-journalist-killed-and-another.html||The Cambodia Daily, April 2, 2010. p. 24||The Cambodia Daily, April 24-25, 2010, p. 13||Phnom Penh Post, April 1, 2010, pp 1-2||Phnom Penh Post, April 2, 2010, p 3||Phnom Penh Post, April 13, 2010, p 3||Phnom Penh Post, April 19, 2010, p 4||Phnom Penh Post, April 20, 2010, pp 1-2||Phnom Penh Post, July 6, 2010, p 2 http://www.sithi.org/admin/upload/media/%5B2010-07-05%5DOpposition%20Paper%20Closes/PPP-06-July-10-Opposition%20Paper%20Closes.pdf||Phnom Penh Post, August 18, 2010, p4||Phnom Penh Post, September 2, 2010, p2||Phnom Penh Post, November 29, 2010, p5||Cambodia Daily, March 23, 2011, p25|
|PFEx2009_PNP011||A Publisher Convicted on Charges of Disinformation Reopens Opposition Paper||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/1/2009||2/9/2011||Dam Sith||Cambodian||Editor-in-chief||Article (published stories openly critical of the government)||Moneaksekar Khmer||Khmer||x||x||Government||Defamation (article 10 of Press Law) Incitement and disinformation (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the civil charges)||Charges dropped||N/A||N/A||N/A||Continues to work as a journalist but has seemingly toned down his criticism of the government.||In July 2009, Dam Sith, editor-in-chief of the opposition-aligned newspaper Moneaksekar Khmer, was charged with disinformation, defamation and incitement over published stories which openly criticized the government. The government dropped the lawsuit only after Dam Sith sent a profusely apologetic letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen, in which he agreed to shut down the paper.|
Moneaksekar Khmer was re-launched in February 2010, notwithstanding comments that Dam Sith had notably toned down his criticism of the government.
Dam Sith had been previously jailed for one week for publishing a story that quoted SRP President Sam Ransey as accusing Foreign Minister Hor Namhong of having links to the Khmer Rouge. At the behest of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the charges were dropped after Dam Sith wrote an apology to Hor Namhong.
|The Cambodia Daily, February 9, 2010, p. 30|
|PFEx2009_PNP012||Journalist Sued by Government over Criticism of Angkor Wat Lighting Plan||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/2/2009||6/6/2011||Moeung Sonn||Cambodian||President (Khmer Civilisation Foundation)||Article (Comments that new lighting system for Angkor Wat temple would be damaging. Exaggeration of the power of the light bulbs.)||x||x||Government||Disinformation (Article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code) then later changed to incitement on appeal by the court (either article 59 or 60 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||Disinformation, changed to Incitement by ruling of appeals court||Jul-09||Not known whether there is an imprisonment sentence; the fine for disinformation was 7 million riel ($1,750) but changed to 4 millino riel upon change of conviction||Court of Appeal, Prosecutor Hean Rith||Out of the country||Violation of right to fair trial (he was convicted of a charge for which he was not tried)||Moeung Sonn was sued by the government in 2009 for claiming that the new lighting system for Angkor Wat would damage the building. He also claimed that it would use 1000 watt bulbs, when in fact the bulbs were only 4 watts.|
He fled the country before his conviction in July of that year. His lawyer Sok Sam Oeun continues to defend him in the Court of Appeal. However, there is no scheduled date for a hearing at the Court of Appeal.
In May 2011, the Court of Appeal upheld the previous conviction but changed the charge to incitement instead of disinformation. Moeung Sonn was therefore convicted of a charge for which he was not tried. Sam Pracheameanith, Cabinet chief at the Ministry of Justice, insisted that judges can legally convict someone for a crime they were not charged with.
Moung Sonn has appealed to the Supreme Court regarding this judgement.
|Cambodia Daily, May 7-8, 2011, p 13||Phnom Penh Post, March 11, 2011, p 6||The Cambodia Daily, May 28-29th 2011, p1||The Cambodia Daily, May 25th 2011, p 27||The Cambodia Daily, June 6th 2011, p 23|
|PFEx2009_PNP013||Freelance Journalist Sentenced to Two Years for Disinformation by Text Message||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||11/6/2009||11/29/2010||Ros Sokhet||Cambodian||Reporter||Research (sending alleged disparaging text message to CTN anchor and radio commentator, Soy Sopheap)||N/A||N/A||x (not specified)||x||Businessman (Soy Sopheap)||Disinformation (Article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||Disinformation||6-Nov-09||Imprisonment (2 years)||Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Judge Chhay Kong||Ros Sokhet appealed his conviction; the appeal was heard on 19 October 2010, and the court reduced Sokhet’s sentence to one year. He was released from prison on 29 October 2010.||In November 2009, Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted freelance journalist Ros Sokhet for spreading disinformation.|
The charges were based on a series of “disparaging” text messages sent by the journalist to Soy Sopheap, a well-known TV anchor and newspaper publisher, and four other people. In the messages, Ros Sokhet allegedly questioned whether Soy Sopheap had extorted money from Ke Dara, the jailed wife of an advisor to National Assembly President Heng Samrin.
Soy Sopheap, who is known for having close relationships with government officials, made a formal complaint, but pointed out over the course of the trial that he had filed it against an anonymous person. Apparently, he had not been aware of the fact that Ros Sokhet was a journalist and claimed he would have not pursued the complaint had he known.
The judge concluded that the messages not only “dishonored” the anchor but also “caused problems for society”. This conclusion was deemed sufficient to meet the wording of the disinformation statute and Ros Sokhet was sentenced to two years in prison.
Ros Sokhet filed an appeal against the sentence the same month. The appeal hearing was delayed twice and while in prison he complained that he was not receiving adequate medical treatment. The appeal hearing was finally set for 19 October 2010, but Ros Sokhet did not find out about the date until he paid police officers a bribe of US $1,000.
During the appeal hearing, he rejected the claim that he had disseminated criminal disinformation on the basis of a lack of evidence. Though presiding judge Pol Sam Oen upheld the lower court’s conviction, he reduced the original two-year sentence to one year. Ros Sokhet was released on 29 October 2010.
In November 2010, it was reported that the Ministry of Information would not issue a license for Ros Sokhet to publish his new paper “Anticorruption News”. He has since taken on the role of Media Advisor for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p 23 (see link) http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2010/10/journalist-ros-sokhet-released-by.html||http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2010/03/one-journalist-killed-and-another.html||The Cambodia Daily, March 3, 2010, p 27||The Cambodia Daily, March 15, 2010, p. 27||The Cambodia Daily, September 7, 2010, p 22||The Cambodia Daily, September 11-12, 2010, p 13||The Cambodia Daily, October 20, 2010, p 27||The Cambodia Daily, October 30-31, pp 1-2||The Cambodia Daily, November 29, 2010, p 29|
|PFEx2010_PNP001||Government Lawsuit Withdrawn after Journalist Publishes a Correction||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/6/2010||12/1/2010||Bun Tha||Cambodian||Publisher||Article (entitled 'The 13th anniversary of the 5-6 July 1997 coup d'etat signals Hun Sen's grabbing of monopolistic power')||Khmer Amatak||Khmer||x||x||Correction published.||Government (Ministry of Information)||Civil Action (unknown civil charge)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Ministry of Information withdrew claim on 6 July 2010 when Bun Tha agreed to publish a correction.||None known||On 6 July 2010, the Ministry of Information withdrew a lawsuit against the royalist-aligned newspaper Khmer Amatak after its publisher, Bun Tha agreed to correct an article entitled “The 13th anniversary of the 5-6 July 1997 coup d’état signals Hun Sen’s grabbing of monopolistic power”.|
According to the Ministry of Information, the article amounted to “intentional misinformation” as it did not quote any government opinions on the event. Following the withdrawal of the complaint, Thith Sothea, head of the Press and Quick Reaction Unit at the Council of Ministers, stated that the lawsuit had been a matter of principle, intended to “remind all journalists to re-examine and improve their code of conduct”.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", pp. 24-25 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||http://www.voanews.com/khmer-english/news/Opposition-Editor-Apologizes-After-Government-Complaint-98511999.html||Phnom Penh Post, July 19, 2010, p 5|
|PFEx2010_PNP002||Journalist Received Death Threats after Ministry of Information Bans his Books||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/16/2010||12/1/2010||Pen Puthsphea||Cambodian||Author and radio reporter||Books (published two student examination books raising issues of government corruption and failure to respect human rights)||Publisher not known||Khmer||x||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The books remain formally banned.||Death threats||On 14 July 2010, the author and journalist for Sam Rainsy Party Radio, Pen Puthsphea, received a death threat just two days after two of his books had been formally banned by the Minister of Information, Khieu Kanharith, for their apparent criticism of Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. The ban was put in place after Education Minister Im Sethy had sent a letter to Khieu Kanharith, in which he deemed passages of the textbooks as unsuitable and compared them to political leaflets. |
The books contained examination material for students of political science and raised questions regarding government corruption and failure to protect human rights in Cambodia, allegedly suggesting that the country would not be able to develop under the current leadership due to pervasive corruption. In an interview, the author made clear that he did not intend to criticize the government but rather highlight both pro and con ideas. He also questioned the motivation for the ban, since the books had been on sale since 2006.
Two days after the books were banned, Pen Puthsphea received a phone call from an anonymous man, warning him to not become too strong or else he would be killed.
The two books remain banned in Cambodia.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 30 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||http://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/hiding-08062010180355.html||Phnom Penh Post, July 14, 2010, p 2||Phnom Penh Post, July 15, 2010, p 2|
|PFEx2010_PNP003||Journalist Threatened with Lawsuit for Exposing Education Corruption||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/22/2010||7/23/2010||Chray Chamnan||Cambodian||Reporter||Article (published front page article alleging bribery among high school teachers)||Rasmei Kampuchea Daily||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||In July 2010, Chray Chamnan, a journalist working for the Khmer-language newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea Daily, claimed that he had been threatened with a lawsuit by a government official over one of his articles.|
The article was published on the front page of Rasmei Kampuchea Daily on 22 July 2010 and based on claims by teachers and union leaders, alleged that a high school teacher had bribed officials at the municipal education department. Chray Chamnan claimed that he received a call from Chea Cheat, director of the municipal education department in Phnom Penh, later that day. Chea Cheat allegedly intimidated and warned him, saying he would take him to court with a defamation charge. Chray Chamnan defied the threat, arguing that his article was balanced.
No further information has been found on this case.
|The Cambodia Daily, July 23, 2010, p 32|
|PFEx2010_PNP004||Editor of Opposition Newspaper Summoned to Court Over Charges of Defamation and Disinformation||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||7/25/2010||12/1/2010||Bun Tha||Cambodian||Publisher||Article (alleging corruption in application procedure for scholarships at University of Cambodia)||Khmer Amatak||Khmer||x||x||x||Correction published.||Businessman / Government (Kao Kim Huorn)||Defamation (Article 10 of Press Law), Disinformation (Article 62 of the UNTAC Criminal Code)||Charges dropped||N/A||N/A||Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Judge Lim Makaron, Municipal Court Deputy Court Prosecutor Hing Bunchea||Unknown||None known||After publishing a story alleging corruption at the University of Cambodia, Bun Tha, editor of the opposition-aligned newspaper Khmer Amatak was yet again summoned to court over charges of defamation and criminal disinformation.|
Published in September 2009, the article alleged that university officials were charging more than necessary for application forms and making profit off the thousands of hopeful students who applied. The scholarship was a project jointly sponsored by the Japanese government and Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Bun Tha was subsequently sued by Kao Kim Hourn, president of the University of Cambodia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Secretary of State, who claimed that the article was intended to incite chaos at the university. Arguing that the article had damaged his own and the university’s reputation, Kao Kim Hourn demanded US $100,000 in compensation from Bun Tha and Khmer Amatak.
Due to the refusal by Phnom Penh court to issue a provisional detention order in March 2010, the journalist was not placed in pre-trial detention. Hoping that the case would be dropped, Bun Tha agreed to publish a correction of the article in late July, but the case nevertheless went forward, with a court date being set for August 3, 2010.
Due to the absence of his lawyer, however, Bun Tha requested to postpone the trial. On August 2, 2010 he met Kao Kim Hourn and, after promising to publish a correction as well as a letter of apology, an agreement was reached to settle the case outside of court.
All charges against Bun Tha were dropped.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", pp. 24-25 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2010/03/one-journalist-killed-and-another.html||The Cambodia Daily, March 18, 2010, p. 25||The Cambodia Daily, March 24, 2010, p. 25||The Cambodia Daily, July 20, 2010, p. 33||The Cambodia Daily, August 3, 2010, p 24|
|PFEx2010_PNP005||Journalist Claims Illegal Detention||Phnom Penh||Dangkao||Unknown||8/12/2010||8/18/2010||Lay Sokhom||Cambodian||Reporter||Unknown (Minor traffic incident)||Kampuchea Thmey||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||Arbitrary illegal arrest or detetion||On 17 August 2010, Lay Sokhom, a journalist working for the newspaper Kampuchea Thmey, filed a complaint with Phnom Penh Municipal Court, after allegedly being illegally detained by police in Phnom Penh.|
Lay Sokhum claimed that he was taken into custody overnight on 12 August after being involved in a minor incident at Choam Chao roundabout in the capital’s Dangkao district. He said that traffic police at the scene detained him when they learned about his profession, claiming that they wanted to take revenge due to the critical opinion many journalists have of the police forces. Three other men involved were allegedly allowed to leave the scene after one of them claimed to be the nephew of Municipal Police Chief Touch Naruth.
The journalist filed a complaint against two senior police officials, District Police Chief Born Sam Arth and District Bureau Chief Soth Saroeurn. The latter denied the allegations, arguing that Lay Sokhun had been the only party present at the scene of the accident and that he had to be taken into overnight detention in case a victim filed a complaint.
No further information is available on the current status of the case.
|The Cambodia Daily, August 18, 2010, p 26|
|PFEx2010_PNP006||Phnom Penh Post Journalist Detained for Taking Photographs Following Diamond Island Tragedy||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||12/2/2010||12/2/2010||Pha Lina||Cambodian||Photographer||Photograph (Taking photographs on Koh Pich (Diamond Island) one week after a stampede left over 450 people dead)||Phnom Penh Post||English/Khmer||x||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||One week after the stampede on Koh Pich (Diamond Island) which left over 450 people dead and almost 400 injured, Pha Lina, a photographer working for the Phnom Penh Post, was briefly detained by private security guards while taking photographs.|
In the wake of the disaster, concerns were voiced about the possible loss of business on Koh Pich (a popular place for weddings) and Pha Lina went to the island to take photos of local vendors. When he began taking photographs a security guard arrived, questioning him about his permission from the developer. Pha Lina claimed that he was then escorted to an office by three guards and forced to delete the photos from his camera, while one of the guards took down the details of his ID card and motorbike license. A copy of his ID card was also made.
The guards allegedly said that Pha Lina was not allowed as the company did not want any reports about the area after the disaster of the previous week.
Touch Samnang, project manager of Diamond Island stated that there was no company order to bar journalists from the island and denied any of the claims made by Pha Lina.
No further information was found on this case.
|Phnom Penh Post, December 2, 2010, p 2|
|PFEx2011_PNP001||TV Presenter Sued for Tampering with Written Communication||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||1/1/2011||3/12/2011||Soy Sopheap||Cambodian||Media personality||Article (Allegedly tampered with correspondance)||N/A||Khmer||x||x||x||Businessman (Lim Bun Heng)||Criminal infringement of correspondance (Article 317 of the 2010 Penal Code)||Unknown||Unknown||Penalties for the offence range between 1 month and 1 year imprisonment and up to $500||Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Deputy Prosecutorr Hing Bunchea||Hearing||None known||Soy Sopheap was sued for tampering with written correspondence from Lim Bun Heng to a four-star general. The complaint made was related to the creation of a Deum Ampil radio station in the Battambang province. Soy Sopheap is director of Deum Ampil News and a presenter for Bayon TV. He protests his innocence stating that he does not know how to use email and thus does not feel as though the complaint has any real basis.||Cambodia Daily, March 12th-13th, 2011, p 13|
|PFEx2011_PNP002||Anti-Government Blog made Inaccessible by Request of Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||1/1/2011||2/28/2011||KI Media||American/Khmer||Blog (KI Media)||Unknown (Anti-government stance)||KI Media and others||English and Khmer||x||x||No||No charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Ezecom's servers restored service to KI Media on the 20th of January||Blogs hosted by Google's Blogger service were inaccessible through numerous Internet Service Providers for parts of January and February 2011. The anti-government KI Media was particularly affected, a blog which had recently become famous when a UN employee was arrested for distributing an article from the site. Related sites Khmerisation and Sacravatoons were also affected.|
Ezecom's customer service reported that this was due to a directive from the government. However Ezecom CEO Paul Blanche-Horgan denied this, saying it was a "proxy server error". Mobitel and Metfone, who were also implicated, denied that they had received a directive.
A meeting was held on February 10th with the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun in which he asked for "cooperation" in curbing access to certain sites, although an insider claimed that this was in reference to pornographic material.
Emails were later uncovered from Sieng Sithy, deputy director of the directorate of telecommunications policy regulation, outlining the sites to be blocked, and then on February 11th thanking ISPs for their compliance. So Khun denies that there is an official censorship policy, but says that ISPs have a right to block pages that insult "government leaders".
Service to KI Media from Ezecom resumed on January 20th, but was again blocked on the 14th of February on several ISPs. One, WiCam, displayed instead the message, "blocked as ordered by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia". Other ISPs and the government again denied that there had been an order from the government to block the website.
The blocked websites were accessible through Ezecom from February 27th but remained inaccessible through Online and MekongNet.
The Minister of Information, Khieu Kanharith, claimed that he was unaware of the MPTC's policy and demanded to know the reason behind it.
|Phnom Penh Post, January 21st 2011, p3||The Cambodia Daily January 21st 2011, p27||The Cambodia Daily, February 18th 2011, p4||Phnom Penh Post, February 15th 2011, p 1||Phnom Penh Post, February 17 2011, p 1||The Cambodia Daily, February 28th 2011, p 27||LICADHO Condemns Censorship of Web Sites Critical of Government http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/pressrelease.php?perm=238||Cambodia orders popular blog blocked http://www.cpj.org/2011/02/cambodia-orders-popular-blog-blocked.php|
|PFEx2011_PNP003||Photographer Restrained and Had Photos Deleted at Boeng Kak Lake||Phnom Penh||Phnom Penh||Boeng Kak Lake||1/14/2011||6/6/2011||Sovan Philong||Cambodian||Photographer||Photograph (Taking photographs of 20 homes being dismantled against resident's will to make room for a new housing development on Boeng Kak Lake by Shukaku Corporation.)||Phnom Penh Post||English/Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||N/A||No charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Not in detention - continuing working as a photographer.||On 14 January 2011, four riot police officers with shields boxed in and restrained Cambodian photographer Sovan Philong, preventing him from moving as they confiscated his camera equipment. The 25-year-old, award-winning photographer for the Phnom Penh Post and his younger brother Hong Menea, an apprentice photographer, were documenting an eviction at Boeng Kak Lake in central Phnom Penh when police came after them.|
Police officers blocked them from viewing the confrontation between the residents and local authorities and then confiscated their camera equipment. Though Sovan Philong was displaying his government-issued press credentials at the time, he had his arms pinned behind his back and sustained a minor injury to his head. Police returned the camera equipment to both photographers only after deleting the images on the memory cards and after the intervention of bystanders.
No charges were pressed and Sovan Philong continues to work as a photographer for the Phnom Penh Post.
|PFEx2011_PNP005||Two Journalists Arrested over Charges of Blackmail and Extortion||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||1/18/2011||1/19/2011||(1) Kang Arun, (2) Prum San||Khmer||(1) Vice-president of the Press Council of Cambodia, (2) reporter||Research (Attempted extortion of a commune chief)||Kampuchea Sachak||Khmer||x||x (Press Association)||x||x||Pram Yam Commune Chief (Leng Horm)||Extortion (article 363 of the new Penal Code)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Facing questioning by Kampong Cham court||Two journalists were arrested by police posing as middlemen in a blackmail operation. The police had received a complaint from Leng Horm, Pram Yam Commune Chief, that they were trying to extort $300 from him and threatened to publish stories about his poor handling of the commune.|
Sok Sovann, President of the Press Council of Cambodia, will try to prevent them from being charged but admits that it may be difficult to do so.
|Phnom Penh Post January 19th 2011 p6|
|PFEx2011_PNP006||Tapes of Interviews of Anti-Corruption Unit Chairman Confiscated||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||1/22/2011||1/22/2011||Several reporters at the Anti-corruption Unit Headquarters||Unknown||Journalists||Research/Interviews (Asking "insulting questions")||Unknown||Unknown||x||x||x||x||No||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||Anti-corruption Unit Chairman Om Yentieng ordered the tapes of several journalists to be confiscated after he was asked uncomfortable questions regarding the role of the CPP in a bomb attack on an opposition rally.|
Phay Siphan, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, insisted that officials have the right to confiscate tapes because of privacy rights. He also said that in some cases journalists should not digress from the main topic at a press conference.
However, Moeun Chhean Nariddh, director of the Cambodian Institute for Media, claims that such action violates the press law and articles 31 and 41 of the constitution referring to freedom of the press.
|The Cambodia Daily, January 22-23rd, 2011, p 1|
|PFEx2011_PNP007||Journalist Received Death Threats in Phnom Penh||Phnom Penh||Russei Keo||Unknown||3/15/2011||3/21/2011||Dam Sichan||Cambodian||Reporter||Photograph (Took photographs of Sok Socheata arguing with her employees)||Nokor Wat||Khmer||x||x||Journalist (Dam Sichan)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Dam Sichan filed a compaint against Sok Socheata for insulting him and threatening to shoot him.||Death threats||Reporter Dam Sichan took photos of Sok Socheata arguing with her employees. She subsequently threatened to shoot the journalist. Dam Sichan is currently suing Sok Socheata.||Phnom Penh Post, March 21, 2011, p6|
|PFEx2011_PNP008||Newspaper Publisher Sued over Alleging Corruption||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||3/16/2011||3/20/2011||Bun Tha||Cambodian||Publisher||Article (Claim that Nhek Bun Chhay took funds from a company)||Khmer Amatak||Khmer||x||x||Government (Nhek Bun Chhay)||Disinformation and forgery (civil action, unclear what article the civil charge is under)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Deputy Prosecutorr Hing Bunchea||Hearing||Bun Tha, publisher of the Norodom Ranariddh-aligned Khmer Amatak newspaper, was sued by Funcinpec secretary general Nhek Bun Chhay for alleging corruption.|
A contract between Nhek Bun Chhay and an unidentified Chinese firm states that the politician would "bring into play the full play of [his] influence and power" in obtaining a telecommunications contract for the company. The firm Speedy Best Technology was then set up as a joint operation between the company and Funcinpec. Allegedly there is also a receipt of $5.8 million dollars from the company to Funcinpec signed by Nhek Bun Chhay.
Documents released by the Funcipec cabinet state that Nhek Bun Chhay was a witness to another deal in which Speedy Best paid a Chinese company, Kahua Industry Investment, $5.8 million for an 80% share of a 3G license. Nhek Bun Chhay also admits that he received a $2.5 million loan from Kahua's chairman.
However Nhek Bun Chhay claims that he did not receive $5.8 million dollars from any company and has therefore sued for disinformation and fabricating facts.
Bun Tha has lodged a complaint with the anti-corruption commission.
|Cambodia Daily, March 17th, 2011, p 23||Cambodia Daily, March 19th-20th, 2011, p 13||Phnom Penh Post, March 16th, 2011 p 2||Phnom Penh Post, March 18th 2011, p 2|
|PFEx2011_PNP009||Editor Charged with Defamation for Publishing Corruption Article||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||3/18/2011||3/18/2011||Bun Tha||Cambodian||Publisher||Article (Article accusing Nhiek Bunchay, Secretary general of Funcinpec part and Deputy Prime Minister, of corruption in sales of party headquarters.)||Khmer Amatak||Khmer||x||x||Government (Nhiek Bunchhay)||Defamation (Article10 of Press Law)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh Court, Prosecutor Hing Bun Chea||Unknown||None known||The editor of the newspaper Khmer Amatak, Bun Tha was summoned to court over charges of defamation, after publishing an article alleging corruption in the sales of party headquarters.|
The charges were brought before Phnom Penh Court by the Secretary General of the Funcinpec Party and Deputy Prime Minister, Nhiek Bunchhay and the initial hearing was scheduled for 18 March 2011.
No further information has been found on this case.
|PFEx2011_PNP010||TV Presenter Sued by former PM||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||3/22/2011||4/5/2011||Soy Sopheap||Cambodian||Presenter||Article (Claimed that former Prime Minister Son Sann had sold land around Preah Vihar temple to Thailand.)||Bayon TV||Khmer||x||x||Yes.||Son Soubert (son of Son Sann)||Defamation (Article 10 of Press Law)||Lawsuit dropped||Unknown||N/A||Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Deputy Prosecutor Ek Chheng||Summoned for questioning||None known||Soy Sopheap was sued by Son Soubert for claiming that the claimant's father, Son Sann, had sold land around the Preah Vihar temple to Thailand in the 1980s. When he appeared in court he said that he had made a mistake and pleaded for Son Soubert's pardon. He also said that he had corrected this mistake shortly after on Bayon TV, and offers to do so again. |
Son Soubert denies that Soy Sopheap made such a correction. However, after Soy Sopheap's public apology in court, Son Soubert dropped the lawsuit on April 4th.
|Cambodia Daily, March 23rd, 2011, p 24||Phnom Penh Post, March 30th 2011, p 4||Cambodia Daily, March 30th 2011 p 25||Phnom Penh Post, April 5th 2011, p 6|
|PFEx2011_PNP011||Anti-government Show Threatened with Closure||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||4/4/2011||4/4/2011||Beehive Radio Station||Khmer||N/A||Breach of license (Broadcasting an anti-government radio show)||Beehive Radio, programme Khmer Post||Khmer||x||x||x||Chhang Song - former spokesperson for Lon Nol||No charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||The Ministry of Information threatened to withdraw the broadcasting license of Beehive Radio if they continued broadcasting the news and politics show 'Khmer Today', which is frequently critical of the government.|
The ministry argued that all stations must ask for government permission before selling airtime on their channel. This was in reference to an edict in 2010. However, Pa Nguon Teang, director of the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media, insisted that the move was illegal.
|Censorship: Ministry of Information shuts down The Khmer Post http://www.mobi.camboguide.com/cambodia-news-latest/8430-censorship-ministry-of-information-shuts-down-the-khmer-post|
|PFEx2011_PNP012||Website Told to Withdraw Story for fear of Interfering with Border Negotiations||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||4/27/2011||4/28/2011||Deum Ampil News||Khmer||N/A||Article (Report that Thailand had surrendered in the conflict with Cambodia over Preah Vihear)||Deum Ampil||Khmer||x (online news source)||x||No||No charges||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||News website scolded by PM Hun Sen||Thai defence officials pulled out of border dispute negotiations after the website Deum Ampil reported that the Thais were surrendering. Prime Minister Hun Sen demanded that the story should be withdrawn and scolded the website for publishing it.|
The owner of Deum Ampil, Soy Sopheap, is currently fighting at least two lawsuits for defamation and criminal infringement of correspondence.
|The Cambodia Daily, April 28th 2011, p 21|
|PFEx2011_PNP013||TV Presenter Questioned over Defamation and Tampering Accusations||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||4/28/2011||7/28/2011||Soy Sopheap||Khmer||Presenter (Bayon TV)||None (Allegedly tampered with correspondence)||Bayon TV||Khmer||x||x||x||Newspaper editor (Touch Kongkea)||Criminal infringement of correspondance (article 317 of the new Penal Code) and defamation||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh Municipal Court||Summoned for questioning||Soy Sopheap was questioned by Phnom Penh Municipal court on May 3rd over allegations that he defamed Touch Kongkea and that he tampered with correspondence between Mr Kongkea and Lim Bun Heng, who is already suing him for tampering with a different correspondence.|
Touch Kongkea is the managing editor of the Nokor Wat newspaper.
Soy Sopheap answered questions before Phnom Penh municipal court on the 27th of July. He denies the allegations.
|The Cambodia Daily, April 29th 2011, p 24||The Cambodia Daily, May 4th 2011, p 24||The Cambodia Daily, July 28th 2011, p 22|
|PFEx2011_PNP015||Bayon TV Reporter Received Death Threats||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||6/29/2011||7/1/2011||Samrith Suosdey||Cambodian||Reporter||Video (filming the scene of a traffic accident in Meanchey district. He received death threats and his video was deleted)||Bayon radio and television||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Samrith Suosdey, reporter of Bayon TV, received death threats, and his videos were deleted by body guards when he tried to capture and cover the story of a traffic accident which occured on the night of June 29, 2011. |
Residents observed the confrontation and said it would not be difficult to locate the perpetrator because they noted the details and registration numbers of both luxury cars and provided this information to the police.
Suosdey said that there were many traffic police present, but that they seemed to support the body guard and ignored the situation. However, Touch Naroth, Phnom Penh police chief, ordered his people to investigate the case and to find the perpetrators.
|Tep Manor, “Touch Naroth ordered to seek a body guard allegedly threatened to death on Bayon reporter”, DAP-News, July 1, 2011, http://www.dap-news.com/typography/the-news/24486-2011-07-01-08-29-31.html|
|PFEx2011_PNP016||Two Newspapers' Licences Revoked as Publisher Refused to Publish Address||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||8/3/2011||8/18/2011||Keo Amnot Sangkhem||Cambodian||Director||Breach of license (the licenses were revoked because the dirctor refused to publish their address in either paper, despite being asked to do so repeatedly)||(1) The Water and Fire News and (2) The World Newspapers||Khmer||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The two newspapers had been halted||Closure of publication/broadcast||The Cambodian Ministry of Information rescinded the licenses of two newspapers owned by the same publisher – The Water and Fire News and The World News – and has ordered that the two papers cease publication. A notice outlining the decision was signed by Khieu Kannharith, the Minister of Information, which stated that the order was effective as of 3 August 2011. |
According to ministry spokesperson Yeam Noy, the order was given as a result of the failure of either paper to publish any address despite repeated requests by the Ministry that such information be provided and also as a result of a perceived insult to the Ministry of Information. In an article in The Cambodia Daily on 4 August 2011 Mr. Yeam is quoted explaining that the motto of The Water and Fire News – “News that doesn’t cover outside the 181,035 km square territory”, referring to Cambodia’s land area and which appeared on the front cover – amounted to an insult to the Ministry of the Information. He offered no further explanation.
The two newspapers, according to their director Keo Amnot Sangkhem, are independent of any political party but run articles that are critical of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. In the article in The Cambodia Daily, Mr. Keo explains that he previously halted publication of The Water and Fire News three years ago by his own volition after he was threatened by a government official following his publication of an article following the death of National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy. Since receiving notification of the decision to rescind the licenses of the two newspapers, Mr. Keo has written a complaint to the Minister of Information.
|Keo Amnot Sangkhem, Letter seeking the intervention from President of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, dated August 18, 2011||Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Media alert, “Newspapers motto noting Cambodia’s land area deemed “insulting”, two newspapers shut down, August 4, 2011, http://www.cchrcambodia.org/index.php?url=media/media.php&p=alert_detail.php&alid=3&id=5 , accessed September 9, 2011||Phal Sokpheary, “Two Khmer Papers Told to Halt Publishing”, The Cambodia Daily, August 4, 2011|
|PFEx2011_PNP017||Journalist Detained, Beaten by Police||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||8/11/2011||8/15/2011||Sovann Rithykim||Cambodian||Reporter||Photograph (Taking photograph of the police who were fining motorcycle drivers without issuing receipt)||(1) Angkor Thom Media website (2) Tahsanak Khmer Newspaper||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Unknown||Sovann Rithykim, 19, a reporter for the Angkor Thom Media website and Tahsanak Khmer (Khmer View) newspaper, claimed he was detained, punched and had his mobile telephone smashed by traffic police in Daun Penh district on August 11, 2011 after he photographed them fining motorcycle drivers without issuing receipts.|
Rithykim said he was fulfilling his duty to report information and he observed the police improperly fining drivers. He then used his mobile phone to take photos of these activities.
|Khuon Narim, “Journalist Says He Was Detained, Beaten by Police”, The Cambodia Daily, August 15, 2011|
|PFEx2011_PNP018||ECCC Initiates Contempt of Court Proceedings Against Website for Publishing Sensitive Information||Phnom Penh||Unknown||Unknown||8/31/2011||9/1/2011||Voice of America Khmer||Unknown||Unknown: the tribunal has not made it clear whether they are bringing proceedings against the editor, producer, or journalist of the offending piece||Article (A report posted on VOA Khmer website revealing sensitive information related to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal)||Voice Of America Khmer||English/Khmer||x||x||x||x||ECCC Cambodia||Contempt of court (sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal charges)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Phnom Penh Municipal Court||Has not yet been summoned||The ECCC said it has started contempt of court proceedings against VOA Khmer after it published sensitive information relating to the war crimes trial on its website.|
The report quoted a confidential document and described prosecution allegations of three mid-level Khmer Rouge cadres.
The ECCC has threatened to bring contempt of court proceedings against the publications Scoop and the Christian Science Monitor, but this is the first time that it has acted on such a threat.
|Phnom Penh Post, September 1st 2011 http://www.phnompenhpost.com/index.php/2011090151401/National-news/krt-seeds-of-contempt.html|
|PFEx2008_SHV001||Koh Santepheap Journalist Slapped by Military Policy Captain||Preah Sihanouk||Stung Hav||Unknown||7/25/2008||8/29/2008||Ros Phina||Cambodian||Reporter||Article (alleged that a military police captain was conspiring to transport illegal logs to Sihanouk port)||Koh Santepheap||Khmer||x||x||x||x||No.||Journalist||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Preah Sihanouk Court||Charges were dropped.||On July 25, 2008, a Cambodian Military Police Captain, Mr. Nget Chantha (alias Kin), from Stung Hav district detachment threatened and slapped a “Koh Santepheap” newspaper reporter, Ros Phina, when the latter refused to retract his allegation that the officer was conspiring to transport illegal logs to Sihanouk port.|
Phina had written an article in the July 24, 2008 issue of “Koh Santepheap” alleging that Chantha was in cahoots with forestry officials in transporting four to ten cubic meters of illegally cut logs to the Cambodian port city of Preah Sihanouk every day.
Phina told CCHR staff via telephone that, on the evening of July 24, 2008, he received a phone call from Chantha telling him to meet him at the Stung Hav Military Police Detachment where Chantha ordered him to correct the July 24 article.
On July 25, Phina met Chantha at his office at the Military Police Barracks. When he arrived, Chantha immediately asked him whether he would retract the July 24 article. Phina replied that he could not retract his article, but he proposed that Chantha write a letter of clarification over the allegation. Chantha became very angry and allegedly slapped him violently.
According to the Phnom Penh-based Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), on August 1, 2008, Phina was summoned to the police station. Phina alleged that the investigating officer, Capt. Var Chanthan, who is also head of the Criminal Investigation Bureau, interrogated him for more than three hours inside a large, barren room. Instead of taking his statements about the slapping incident, Chanthan allegedly tried to find out who his sources were for the article he had written. Phina said Chanthan’s questions implied that he was the suspect and not the victim.
Three days later, the reporter was summoned again to the police station. Chanthan ordered him to switch off his mobile phone and tape recorder. When Phina refused, Chanthan became angry and said he would halt the investigation.
Phina later filed charges against Chantha at the Sihanouk Ville Municipal Court.
CAPJ reported that the military police captain apologized to Phina on August 11, with Phina’s editor as witness. In return, charges against the suspect were dropped.
|http://www.ifex.org/cambodia/2008/08/14/journalist_questioned_harassed/ , August 29, 2011||So Sokhom, “The Cambodian Center for Human Rights Condemn the Beating Journalist as the Violations of Freedom of Expression”, Koh Santepheap Daily, August 8, 2008||Ta Saom, “The resettlement over journalist beating failed for second time due to partial procedure”, Koh Santepheap Daily, August 5, 2008||The Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Press Release, dated August 5, 2008|
|PFEx2009_SHV001||A Journalist Beaten, Injured and His Camera Confiscated by a Police Official in Preah Sihanouk||Preah Sihanouk||Prey Nob||Ream||2/15/2009||5/3/2009||Sun Yath||Cambodian||Reporter||Photograph (Tried to take a picture of a police officer at a wedding ceremony in Ream commune)||Khmer Sowanaphum||Khmer||x||x||x||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||On February 15, 2009, Sun Yath, a reporter for the Koh Sowanaphum newspaper, was beaten and injured by a police officer in Prey Nob district, as he was trying to photograph the officer at a wedding ceremony. His camera was also confiscated.||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2008_PVR001||Kampucha Botr Editor Threatened by Preah Vihear Police with Violence||Preah Vihear||Tbaeng Mean Chey||Unknown||11/11/2008||11/24/2008||Chhoeurn Chumnor||Cambodian||Editor-in-Chief||Research (Chumnor reportedly entered a room in which police were interrogating suspects)||Kampuchea Botr News||Khmer||x||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||The Police Chief of Tbaeng Mean Chey District in Preah Vihear Province was accused of threatening to hit the Editor-in-Chief of Kampuchea Botr News, who allegedly interfered in police interrogation proceedings.|
On November 11, 2008, district police, under the direct orders of the district police chief Mr. Team Sangkream, arrested three people for questioning over the allegation of injuries. When he found out about the arrest, Mr. Chhoeurn Chumnor immediately went to the district police commissariat and entered the room in which a policeman was interrogating the suspects. Chumnor said that when he entered the room the policeman was using violence to get confessions from the people arrested. “I told them not to threaten people arrested”, Chumnor added.
However, the police said that the journalist had no right to enter the investigating room in order to obtain information. Police also told the journalist to respect their code of conduct.
Chumnor told the Voice of Democracy Radio that he was subsequently accused by Team Sangkream of spreading disinformation.
Sam Ath, one of the three people arrested, said that he was detained for over a week and was released after his wife paid a sum of 200,000 R (about US$50) to Sangkream as a bribe.
Chumnor said that Sangkream threatened to hit him. Sangkream flatly denied the allegation that he used violence against any suspects and said that Chumnor was a dishonest man who entered the investigating room without any prior permission.
|Eng Sreyteang, "A Journalist was threatened to hit by police", Voice of Democracy, November 24, 2008|
|PFEx2009_PVR001||Journalist and His Niece Robbed and Shot to Death||Preah Vihear||Choam Khsan||Kantuot||6/17/2009||6/24/2009||(1) Nhoung Sovann, (2) Seng Sreypov||Cambodian||(1) Reporter (2) Vendor||Unknown||Ta Prump||Khmer||x||x||x||The victims were killed by four gunmen, allegedly RCAF soldiers||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||Nhoung Sovann, 44, a reporter who covered Preah Vihear province for Ta Prump newspaper, and his niece, Seng Sreypov, 18, a vendor, were shot dead with an AK-47 assault rifle. The victims were killed after they stopped their car along the road in Svay Chrum village, Kantuot commune, Choam Khsan district, Preah Vihear province at about 10:30 pm on June 17, 2009.|
Two days later, four Royal Cambodia Armed Force soldiers were arrested by Preah Vihear provincial police as the alleged perpetrators of the crime. All four men, as well as a fifth suspect, who is still on the run, are members of RCAF Unit 8 in Preah Vihear and are between the ages of 18 to 23, according to provincial police chief Mao Pov.
The men crashed a car stolen from the journalist into a police roadblock and escaped on foot, but were arrested when they returned to their unit. The gunmen confessed that they stole the journalist’s car after paying him $25 to drive them from Preah Vihear temple to Sa Em village in Choam Khsan district’s Kantout commune. According to the head of the provincial information department, after the shooting, the military enforced a rule forbidding soldiers from carrying their weapons into local villages.
|Saing Soenthrith, “4 RCAF Soldiers Arrested in Connection With Killings”, The Cambodia Daily, June 24, 2009||Phnom Svay-O’Sman, “Uncle and Niece Killed, Uncle was the journalist”, Rasmei Kampuchea Daily Newspaper, June 19, 2009||Thbaeng Meanchey, “Uncle and Niece Shot Dead in Khbal Spean O’Chheuteal, a setup killing”, Koh Santepheap Daily, June 19, 2009|
|PFEx2008_PUR001||Journalist Detained for Extorting Officials and Causing Injury||Pursat||Bakan||Unknown||9/27/2008||5/3/2009||Him Mao||Cambodian||Reporter||Various: allegedly causing injury to police officers, extorting officials, and taking photos of illegal loggers||(1) Koh Ke, (2) Bayon||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||x||Police||Sources unclear as to the exact nature of the criminal and/or civil charges||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Pursat Provincial court,||Unknown||Violation of rights of the accused in relation to detention/right to a fair trial (Failure to be adequately informed about the defendant's court hearing)||Him Mao, 34, a journalist for local newspapers Koh Ke and Bayon, both weekly, four-page color newspapers distributed by hand in Pursat, was arrested on September 27, 2008 in Pursat’s Bakan district while attempting to photograph illegal loggers. Him Mao declared that he had worked for the two agencies for four years.|
However, Sin Khem, his editor-in-chief at Koh Ke, stated that Him Mao was not currently under his employment. However, Him Mao’s media pass is reported to be current. Him Mao rejected all the allegations against him saying that the he was just trying to capture photographs of illegal loggers, who beat him and arrested him. Police then charged him for causing injury. He did admit to taking bribes from sources as a regular part of his job due to having had no journalism training and earning no salary. He admitted to writing articles on the illegal activity of officials, and to showing them the story before it is printed. They usually paid him to stop the article from being published with just a small amount of 5,000 riels (about $1.25).
Up until November 27, 2008, Him Mao was still in incarceration. Seth Borin, the wife of Him Mao, appealed for help in order to free her husband who she said had become sick during his detention. It is reported that the Pursat Provincial Court was demanding US$1,000 for his release, a sum his wife called exorbitant.
|May Titthara and Eleanor Ainge Roy, “Sham Journalist admits to extorting officials in Pursat”, The Phnom Penh Post, October 28, 2008, posted by Khmerization available at http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2008/10/sham-journalist-admits-to-extorting.html , accessed September 12, 2011||May Titthara, “Rights groups express concern over conditions in Pursat prison, while officials say the reputed journalist is not that ill”, the Phnom Penh Post, November 27, 2008, posted by Khmerization on November 27, 2008, available at http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2008/11/ailing-rogue-reporter-needs-release.html , accessed September 12, 2008||Club of Cambodian Journalists (|
|PFEx2009_PUR001||TVK's Pursat Bureau Chief Robbed, Killed in guesthouse||Pursat||Sampov Meas||Phteah Prey||2/4/2009||2/6/2009||Chav Kim Tit||Cambodian||Pursat provincial bureau chief for state television network TVK||Unknown||TVK||Khmer||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||52-year-old Chav Kim Tit, the Pursat provincial bureau chief for state television network TVK, was killed on February 4, 2009 in a guesthouse in Sampov Meas’s Phteah Prey commune.|
Tit had reportedly gone to Happy Ly Ly guesthouse to sleep with a woman who was believed to have worked at a local karaoke parlor. At about 10 pm two men entered his room. Shortly after, the two men left with the woman and the three of them drove away on a motorcycle. Staff at the guesthouse opened the door to Chav Kim Tit’s room and discovered that he had been brutally killed.
Police investigating the case said that the two men are believed to have been working in conjunction with the woman and that they had rented the room next to Chav Kim Tit’s in advance. Police also suspect that the woman arranged the setup in order to rob and kill Chav Kim Tit.
|Chhorn Chansy, “TVK’s Pursat Bureau Chief Robbed, Killed”, The Cambodia Daily, February 6, 2009|
|PFEx2011_PUR001||Journalist and Two Villagers Taken into Custody Following Accusations of Extortion||Pursat||Phnum Kravanh||Unknown||4/19/2011||4/19/2011||Chea Veasna||Cambodian||Journalist||Research (Allegedly attempting to extort money from loggers for secret information)||Kaset Smardeycheat||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Villagers||Unknown "Forestry offence" (unclear whether criminal or civil, Extortion (Article 363 of the 2010 Penal Code)||Unknown||Unknown - case is ongoing||Unknown||Pursat Provincial Court, Provincial Prosecutor You Yoeun Ny||Unknown||None known||On 17 April 2011, a journalist and two villagers were taken into custody at Pursat Provincial Prison over accusations of extortion. You Yoeun Ny, Provincial Prosecutor at Pursat Provincial Court, identified the three men as Chea Veasna, a reporter working for the newspaper Kaset Smardeycheat, and Van Nalin and Bou Na, two villagers from Phnom Kravanh district.|
The complaint was filed by villagers after the three men had allegedly committed a “forestry offense” and extorted money from suspected illegal loggers “in exchange for secret information.” Military officials sent the suspects to court, claiming that Chea Veasna had a business relationship with illegal loggers while Van Nalin and Bou Na were his accomplices.
No further information has been found on this case.
|PFEx2009_RAT001||Journalist Accused of Extorting $4,000 from Families of Three Imprisoned Villagers||Ratanakiri||Unknown||Unknown||6/23/2009||6/24/2009||Ting Yuth||Cambodian||Reporter||Allegedly extorted money from three families in securing the release of imprisoned men from provincial prison.||Cheat Sachak||Khmer||x||x||x||x||Two ethnic minority families||Extorting money from villagers (unclear whether civil or criminal charges)||Unknown||Unknown||Unknown||Ratanakiri Provincial Court of First Instance||Unknown||None known||Two ethnic minority families alleged that they paid a total amount of US$ 4000 to a local journalist and the provincial court clerk for their help in securing the release of their relatives from the provincial prison. The two families had filed two separate complaints with the human rights group Adhoc in Ratanakiri on June 23, 2009. |
Case 1 (Sal Theng and Roman Thom)
According to Pen Bunnar, the provincial coordinator for Adhoc, Sal Theng and his cousin Romam Thom had been detained without trial since May 2007 for allegedly stealing a motorcycle. Relatives of Mr. Theng now claim that they paid $1,000 to court clerk Prak Soeun through the journalist, Ting Yuth, in order to secure the release of the pair. Mr Theng died in prison on June 16. Ting Yuth is a journalist who had worked for Cheat Sachak newspaper for seven years.
Case 2 (Romam Loch)
In a separate case, Romam Loch, along with his three children, Ting Pek, Ting Thoeurng and Ting Bit, was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for murder in 2007. The imprisoned man’s wife, Ting Chhoeun, alleged that she had paid a total of $ 3,000 to the journalist to secure the release of her husband and children.
The journalist said, however, that the money paid was for the publishing of the article about the imprisoning of their relatives. Mr Yuth also confirmed that he brought the families to meet provincial court clerk Prak Soeun in 2008. Soeun dismissed the allegation saying that he had never been involved in extortion and had never accepted nor demanded money from these people.
In relation to this matter, Lox Sokleang, an assistant in the Ministry of Justice, said that Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana had signed off on the complaint and had directed Sou Chanthy, director-general for the Ministry, to investigate the matter.
|Kuch Naren, “Journalist Accused of Extorting $4,000 From 2 R’kiri Families”, The Cambodia Daily, June 24, 2009|
|PFEx2010_RAT001||Shots Fired at Journalist's House by Four Men||Ratanakiri||Bang Lung||Laban Seak||7/13/2010||12/1/2010||Sok Kim San||Cambodian||Reporter||Unknown||Bayon TV and Newspaper||N/A||x||x||x||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||No injuries were reported and the four men escaped the scene in the direction of the airport. No further action has been taken.||On 13 July 2010, at 3:15am, a group of four armed men opened fire on the house of Sok Kim San, a journalist working for Bayon TV and Newspaper, in Laban Seak Sangkat, Banglung City, Ratanakkiri Province. |
No injuries were reported and immediately after firing, the four assailants fled on their motorbikes in direction of the airport.
|LICADHO Report "Freedom of Expression in Cambodia: The Illusion of Democracy", p. 30 http://www.licadho-cambodia.org/reports/files/148LICADHOIllusionDemocracy2010.pdf||The Cambodia Daily, July 14, 2010, p. 26|
|PFEx2011_RAT001||Distributor Posing as Reporter Charged with Defamation over Illegal Logging Claims||Ratanakiri||Unknown||Unknown||3/2/2011||4/8/2011||Bean Kimsan||Cambodian||Claims to be a reporter for Nokor Wat but the editor says he is a distributor||Article (Allegations of illegal logging)||Nokor Wat||Khmer||x||x||x||x||x||Provincial official (Dy Sam Art)||Disinformation (unclear as to whether it is a criminal or civil case though it seems that it is a civil action and the crime of disinformation under article 62 under the UNTAC criminal code is no longer in operation)||Unknown||4/7/2011||Unknown||Ratanakiri Provincial Court, Deputy Prosecutor Lin Seang||Summoned for questioning||Posing as journalist.||Bean Kimsan, who claims to be a reporter for Nokor Wat newspaper, has been charged with defamation of Ratanakiri deputy fisheries administrator Dy Sam Art for alleging that the latter had engaged in illegal logging.|
The accused claims that the article in question was not written by him but by the editor-in-chief Ouk Sun Heng. Ouk Sun Heng denied that Bean Kimsan was a reporter for Nokor Wat, but was instead a distributor.
Beat Kimsan was summoned before the court on April 7th. Dy Sam Art is demanding $5000 in compensation.
|Phnom Penh Post, April 8th 2011, p4|