The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned by reports of a journalist receiving death threats in Cambodia.
Soy Sopheap, a journalist with CTN (Cambodian Television Network) TV, was reportedly threatened in a letter from an unidentified military general sent on September 8, after the reporter read excerpts from newspapers on air which criticised corrupt civil and military officers for using their power to violate Cambodian law.
“Death threats, especially anonymous ones, are a cowardly and totally unacceptable method for dealing with journalists and their news reports,” IFJ President Christopher Warren said.
“Soy Sopheap was merely doing his job of reading the news and informing the public, and to be threatened in this way is utterly disgraceful,” Warren said.
According to local reports from the IFJ’s affiliate the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), Soy Sopheap has lodged a complaint with Cambodian authorities and human rights organisations.
The IFJ, the organisation representing over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries, commends Soy Sopheap and CAPJ for reporting this threat and urges the authorities to investigate it immediately.
The threat comes after Cambodia retreated from a free and open democracy when the Cambodia National Assembly adopted a law on August 30 that restricts its members from expressing opinions freely while working in their capacity as parliamentarians.
“The law is a huge setback for freedom of speech in Cambodia, and could have disturbing repercussions not only for the way parliamentarians conduct themselves, but also the way journalists are able to report on public affairs,” the president of the IFJ said.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific +61 2 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries