CNE said the body of Kuy Piseth, 24, was found after 2am on a street lying near his bike. A source from the Por Sen Chey District Military Police initially said that the police had viewed footage from a security camera near the scene and saw that the victim was beaten by an unknown attacker from behind, causing him to fall and die instantly. This account, however, has been proven to be incorrect and as Chorm Chav 3 commune chief, Theng Kosal pointed out, the journalist died in a traffic accident.
This death comes amid a crackdown on press freedom and political dissent that has continued since the 2018 election. Earlier this year, the IFJ documented the worrying decline in press freedom and democratic rights in Cambodia largely due to a culture of impunity and media ownership issues. In an associated survey, 81 per cent of Cambodian journalists said their work caused them security concerns.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "The death of prominent journalist Kuy Piseth comes at troubling time for journalists in Cambodia. Our deepest condolences go to the Kuy Piseth's family and colleagues. The IFJ calls on the Cambodian government to put in place stronger protections to ensure journalist safety."
Correction: The IFJ statement issued on September 29 incorrectly stated that Kuy Piseth had been attacked. Subsequent evidence has found that he died after falling from his motorbike. The IFJ apologies for this error.