Journalist Victim of Hit and Run After Investigating Gambling Venue in Cambodia

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned for the safety of Sakal newspaper editor Khuon Phlay Vy after he was attacked in Phnom Penh on February 15.

According to the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), Vy, who uses the pen name Sar Keo Virak, was seriously injured when a white Toyota Camry chased him on a street and rammed his motorcycle. Virak remains in hospital.

Virak told CAPJ, an IFJ affiliate, that he had previously received a verbal threat from an unidentified man over the phone, warning him not to publish a report about an illegal gambling place in Phnom Penh’s Boeng Keng Kang II commune. 

“Exposing corruption and illegal activities is one of the core ways that journalists contribute to the promotion of open and free democratic societies,” said IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park.

“When members of the public take it upon themselves to threaten and assault individual journalists for publishing stories in the public interest, it not only an abuse of the individual’s right to safety but a direct attack on press freedom.”

The IFJ joins CAPJ in demanding that local authorities investigate the incident to ensure that the perpetrator does not escape justice and to demonstrate a serious commitment to the protection and safety of journalists.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries