14 July 2008
Journalist Shot Dead as Cambodia’s Election Campaign Begins
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is shocked and outraged at the targeted murder of a senior newspaper journalist and his son in Cambodia on July 11.
According to the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), an IFJ affiliate, Khim Sambo, a reporter for Moneakseka Khmer (Khmer Conscious), was shot dead in Phnom Penh by unknown assailants as he returned home with his son.
Local media reported Khim’s son, Khat Sarin Theara, 21, also died from bullet injuries.
It is likely that Khim was killed because of his work at Moneakseka Khmer, a newspaper allied with government opposition leader Sam Rainsy, CAPJ reports. Khim had reported on corruption and other troubling social issues.
The incident follows the June 8 arrest of Moneakseka Khmer editor-in-chief Dam Sith for publishing allegations that Hor Nam Hong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, had professional connections to a prison from the Khmer Rouge regime.
“With only one month until Cambodia’s national elections, the murder of Khim Sambo and his son sounds yet another alarm bell to the press freedom community that a clampdown to silence independent media is in operation,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“For a genuine democratic election to proceed, Cambodian voters must have access to all levels of information and political analysis without the interference of any political party. Acts of violence against journalists providing this information can only be described as cowardice.”
The IFJ joins CAPJ in demanding local authorities conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the murder of Khim Sambo and his son to ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice and to send a message that violence against journalists will not be tolerated.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 in 122 countries worldwide