Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Beaten journo preps lawsuit

Beaten journo preps lawsuit

Baton-wielding security guards beat a civilian near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park earlier this month
Baton-wielding security guards beat a civilian near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park earlier this month. A Voice of Democracy journalist was also targeted and beaten by the same security forces near Freedom Park this month. Daniel Quinlan

Beaten journo preps lawsuit

A journalist with Voice of Democracy (VOD) who was badly beaten by security forces at the site of a planned demonstration in the capital earlier this month left for Thailand yesterday for an operation, and plans to file suit against his attackers next week, he said.

VOD reporter Lay Samean, 27, was one of several people – including a female journalist and a photographer – attacked by unprovoked Daun Penh district security guards who had begun targeting and accosting observers and members of the press as they waited for an opposition rally near Freedom Park on May 2.

Samean was badly beaten on the head, and said yesterday that he was suffering from persistent symptoms and a problem with a molar stemming from the attack.

“I can walk normally, but my head seems like it’s nodding; I feel dizzy,” Samean said before leaving for Thailand.

Kaing Tong Ngy, a communications officer with the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, which is helping Samean with his complaint, called on those responsible to be held accountable.

“We’re suing in order to have those who committed [the beating] take responsibility before the law,” Tong Ngy said. “Whether the court rules for [us in] this case or not, we will find other ways to find justice for [Samean].”

Tong Ngy did not say what charges would be filed, or against whom, and said CCIM was still consulting with legal experts. He also maintained that Samean was displaying his proper press credentials at the time of the attack.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Long Dimanche said yesterday that citizens had the right to file complaints, and that authorities had the right to enforce the law.

“It is his right,” Dimanche said. “We are the officials who enforce the law. If people are not happy they must file [a complaint] to the court like this.”

Dimanche did not specify which law the untrained Daun Penh security guards were enforcing.

Cambodia’s Press Law makes no mention of a ban on taking photos of public employees in public spaces, and just days after the beatings, the Ministry of Information condemned the attacks as “a serious violation of press freedom”.


  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • American ‘fugitive’ arrested in Cambodia outside of US Embassy

    An American citizen was arrested on request by the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday, according to Cambodian police. Major General Uk Hei Sela, chief of investigations at the Department of Immigration, identified the man as American Jan Sterling Hagen, and said he was

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which