Cambodian Newspaper Shut Down, One Journalist Fired and Another Threatened

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has joined protests against the closure of the French-language daily Cambodge Soir and voiced its solidarity with the 30 newspaper employees who face losing their jobs.<br/>

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According to local reports, on June 12, only a day after Cambodge Soir journalists launched a strike protesting the unfair dismissal of news editor, Soren Seelow, management informed staff that the newspaper, and publishers, Société des Editions du Mékong, were closing due to financial difficulties. <br/>

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“The IFJ gives our full support to the staff of Cambodge Soir and urge management to halt liquidation to ensure Cambodia does not loose a vital voice in the French-language media,” IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said.<br/>

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Cambodge Soir news editor Soren Seelow was reportedly dismissed without notice on June 10 after publishing a detailed story on a report from environmental group Global Witness.<br/>

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According to local reports, the Ministry of Information had banned any reproduction of the report which it classed as a “political attack” on the government as it implicated associates of Prime Minister Hun Sen in corruption and illegal logging. <br/>

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Radio Free Asia journalist Lem Piseth was reportedly forced to flee to Thailand, after receiving death threats on June 13 in response to his coverage of deforestation in the Kompng Thom province.<br/>

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“There appears to be a concerted attack on those media who continue to report on this important issue despite blatant censorship attempts from the government,” Park said.<br/>

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“The IFJ implores Cambodian authorities to launch an investigation into the death threats against Piseth, and ensure that journalists can cover all issues freely without fear for their safety,” Park said.<br/>

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For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919<br/>

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries <br/>

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Twitter: @ifjasiapacific, on Facebook: IFJAsiaPacific and Instagram