Six journalists representing four media outlets said yesterday that they were beaten up, shot at and had their equipment destroyed while trying to cover the scene of a traffic accident.
The alleged incident occurred just after midnight yesterday at the northern end of the Wat Phnom roundabout in Daun Penh district’s Srah Chak commune.
Yim Visal, a reporter for Cambodia Express News, said one of the three cars in the caravan had crashed into a parked vehicle. Visal and other journalists were busy taking pictures of the crash when a group of people involved in it grabbed their cameras and started beating them. They also fired shots in the air and at the journalists, he said.
“The perpetrators took my phone and shot three times to threaten us, but luckily no one was injured,” Visal said.
In addition to Visal, there were three alleged victims from CNC, one from TV3, and one from Hang Meas HDTV.
An employee of Hang Meas HDTV who asked not to be named said there were about 10 perpetrators, and one of the cars bore police licence plates.
“We have already filed the complaints for blocking our duties, destroying our property and threatening our lives,” he said.
Huot Chan Yaran, Daun Penh district police chief, has sent their complaint to court, though none of the suspects have been identified by name.
But Kan Vannak, Srah Chak commune police chief, said one of the alleged perpetrators had been arrested. However, he did not release a name.
Pen Samithy, with the Club of Cambodian Journalists, urged the authorities to arrest those behind the beatings.
Samithy also observed that the incident was one of the first nighttime altercations between the media and those involved in traffic accidents for some time.
In March of 2013, disbarred lawyer David Chanaiwa was convicted along with his nephew and a friend for beating journalists who filmed the aftermath of a car accident they were involved in on Monivong Boulevard.