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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Lies against my friend

Lies against my friend

Dear Editor,

Regular reader of the Post during my visits in Phnom Penh - and also in Paris when

it is possible to get issues - I was stupefied reading in your last issue the article

called "EU media guru says Ranariddh guilty". This article is a brutal

offence - and to me in an absolute lying way - against my friend Raoul Marc Jennar.

Needless to say that it was totally dishonest to include the word "guilty"

in the title. This word has a legal sense and it was not used by Jennar. Above all,

the defiance of the rules of journalism showed by this article is a real matter of

concern. According to Jennar, this article is based on a conversation which was not

announced as an interview but as a background and technical discussion on the EU

plans. Such a violation of the basic rules of journalism is not acceptable at all.

This is in absolute contradiction with the ethics of our profession.

I know Raoul Marc Jennar since many years. With Jean Lacouture, William Shawcross,

Elizabeth Becker, François Ponchaud, David Chandler, Nayan Chanda, Chris-tophe

Peschoux and a few others, he is one of those who helped me understand Cambodia.

He made a brilliant work during the past years - through chronicles and books - analysing

the political situation, describing institutions or surveying the press. His work

is appreciated by many of our colleagues.

Therefore, I want to express my surprise and my indignation about the outrage he

is suffering in your newspaper. It would be scandalous - and prejudicial for Cambodia

and for our work - that such offence without justification could jeopardize his professsional

future. But there are reasons to fear such outcome of an article which is pure libel

and should lead to court.

I have no doubt that the Phnom Penh Post - whose role is crucial in this particular

time of the history of Cambodia - will honestly recognize that a big mistake was

committed and I am sure that your newspaper will make the public apology Raoul Marc

Jennar deserves.

- René Backmann, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris



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