Journalists Safety

VOD journalist threatened, assaulted over Boeung Kak coverage

The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM), Reporters Without Borders and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) condemn the threatening and assault of VOD journalists by Phnom Penh City Hall security guards today. VOD journalists Khut Sokun, a reporter, and Heng Vichet, a photographer, both working for VOD’s Online TV news outlet, were threatened and assaulted this morning over their coverage of a gathering of Boeung Kak community activists in front of Phnom Penh City Hall. The journalists reported that City Hall security guards hit and kicked Sokun and attempted to confiscate and destroy Vichet’s camera equipment after accusing them of working for opposition political parties.

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CCIM appeals dismissal of complaint in beating of VOD journalist

CCIM recently filed an appeal of a November 2014 court order that dismissed the organization’s complaint in the May 2014 beating of VOD journalist Lay Samean.

CCIM sent the appeal to the Phnom Penh Appeals Court on Feb. 5, 2015, on the grounds that the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s dismissal of the complaint was not acceptable according to Cambodian law.

“The court decision was not reasonable,” said CCIM Legal Counsel Sek Sophorn. “They dismissed our complaint by explaining that we do not have enough evidence, but actually we have; Samean was beaten by the security guards hired by Phnom Penh Municipality, so Phnom Penh governor and Daun Penh District governor shall be responsible.”

The letter dismissing CCIM’s complaint, which was signed by Deputy Prosecutor Meas Chanpiseth on Nov. 26, 2014, but only received by CCIM in late December, states that CCIM’s complaint was not upheld. The letter gave the organization two months to appeal but failed to outline the reasons for dismissal.

 

CCIM originally filed a complaint with the court on May 28, 2014, just weeks after Samean was seriously injured by Daun Penh District security guards while covering an election march on May 2 near Freedom Park. During the march, security guards violently dispersed the marchers, and between six and ten guards attacked Samean after he attempted to photograph them beating a monk. The attack left Samean with a broken cheekbone and extensive injuries to his eye and mouth — injuries that necessitated a complicated facial reconstruction surgery in Bangkok. In its suit, CCIM seeks $30,000 USD in compensation for medical costs and for Samean’s emotional and mental duress.

CCIM condemns murder of journalist Tang Tri

Press Release
Oct. 12, 2014, Phnom Penh

CCIM condemns murder of journalist Tang Tri

 

Journalist Tang Tri, 48, of local Vealntri newspaper in Kratie Province, was shot dead around 1 a.m. Sunday as he attempted to document the transportation of illegal luxury wood near Pum Ksem Kang Krow Village.

The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) condemn this murder in the strongest terms possible and call on local authorities to take immediate action to investigate the case and bring the murderers to justice in order to end the cycle of impunity for those who perpetuate violence against journalists in Cambodia.

"Mr. Tri's murder is tragic and cannot go unpunished," said CCIM Executive Director Pa Nguon Teang. "We must bring an end to impunity for those who commit violence against journalists, and we must do it now, starting with Mr. Tri."

According to reports by a CCIM citizen journalist in the area, Mr. Tri was shot to death outside of his car on Tuol Punley hill in Pum Ksem Kang Krow village around 1 a.m. Sunday while he was trying to photograph vehicles transporting illegal luxury wood. A Lexus 470 without license plates was found overturned near Mr. Tri’s vehicle, and two occupants of the Lexus reportedly fled the scene. It is currently unclear what role the occupants of the Lexus may have played in Mr. Tri’s death.

Mr. Tri is the 13th journalist to be killed in the line of duty since Cambodia's first democratic elections in 1993, and his death bears a disturbing resemblance to the 2012 murder of Heng Serei Oudom, who was known for his reporting on illegal logging activities.

To date, no one has been convicted for the murder of Mr. Oudom or any of the other journalists killed in Cambodia over the last 11 years.

The Cambodian Center for Independent Media:
Mr. Sor Sorthy, CCIM Communications & Advocacy Officer Tel: +855 (0)60 411 777
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCIM demands justice for injured journalist

CCIM demands justice for injured journalist


The legal team for the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) last week filed a letter with the Phnom Penh Municipal Court asking the judiciary to proceed with the organization's case on behalf of a VOD journalist who was brutally assaulted by district security forces in May.

Though the organization originally filed suit on May 28, 2014, the court has yet to take significant action in the case. CCIM was summoned to provide explanation and evidence on June 16, but the court has yet to summon the accused parties. In its complaint, CCIM alleged that the City Governor and the Khan Daun Penh District Governor and Deputy District Governor systematically ordered and organized an attack on protestors in which district security guards seriously injured VOD reporter Lay Samean.

The lack of action in the case stands in stark contrast to the swift action observed in July, when Daun Penh district security guards were injured during a demonstration, said CCIM Executive Director Pa Nguon Teang.

“Last month when Daun Penh district guards were beaten, elected Parliament members and activists from CNRP were arrested shortly afterward while senior CNRP officials were summoned. But in Samean’s case, which happened on May 2, none of the suspects have ever been summoned beside the plaintiff,” Teang said.

“Delaying is a common tactic used by Cambodian courts when it comes to high-profile government officials who are involved in criminal cases. Very few of them have been brought to justice. The court is now engaging these delaying tactics to deprive Samean of justice,” Teang said, adding that the delays bring into question the court’s independence.

The letter filed with the court by CCIM last week asks the judiciary to take immediate action to summon the accused parties in order to collect further evidence in the case. Failure to do so, Teang said, will serve as evidence of the court's political leanings and may result in further legal action by CCIM.

 

For more information, please contact:

Mr. KAING Tongngy, Communications & Advocacy Officer
Tel:  +855 (0)60 411 777
Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CCIM demands justice for slain journalists

Press Release
3 February 2014, Phnom Penh


CCIM demands justice for slain journalists


Just days after the United Nations offered a critical review of Cambodia’s human rights record during the country’s Universal Periodic Review, yet another Cambodian journalist was murdered for reporting the news. Suon Chan became the 12th journalist to be killed in Cambodia during the past two decades when he was beaten to death on Saturday in retaliation for his reporting on illegal fishing in Kampog Chhnang, which was published in the Meakea Kampuchea newspaper.

Chan’s tragic and unnecessary death highlights the perils journalists face in Cambodia, where they are threatened, attacked, and even murdered with total impunity. Of the 12 journalists killed in the last 20 years, not a single case has gone to trial. The Cambodian Center for Independent Media exhorts Cambodia’s police and judiciary system to take immediate action to bring the killers of these journalists to justice.

“The authorities must seek justice for these victims and their families, some of whom have been waiting for decades for proper investigations,” said CCIM Executive Director Pa Ngoun Teang. “The culture of impunity created by a lack of proper investigation gives complete freedom to those who wish to use violence to silence critical voices, and it is a violation of the Cambodian peoples’ basic right to freedom of information.”

CCIM remembers and honors all of Cambodia’s slain journalists, and urges members of the country’s independent press to continue undeterred in their mission to provide the Cambodian people with accurate information.


For more information, contact:
Mr. Pa Ngoun Teang, Executive Director of CCIM
Tel: +855 (0)60 409 999
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


(See attached a list of journalists murdered in Cambodia from 1994 – 2014).

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