Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - More condemn shutdown of Daily

More condemn shutdown of Daily

The entrance to the offices of the Cambodia Daily on Monday, the day the paper ceased operations due to a dispute with the Tax Department.
The entrance to the offices of the Cambodia Daily on Monday, the day the paper ceased operations due to a dispute with the Tax Department. AFP Heng Chivoan

More condemn shutdown of Daily

International condemnation of the government’s aggressive pursuit of a tax dispute with the Cambodia Daily continued to pour in yesterday, with the US Embassy in Phnom Penh calling the closure of the hard-hitting newspaper a “sad day for the press and for Cambodia”.

The Daily was shut down on Monday after a monthlong dispute involving an “exorbitant” $6.3 million tax bill, with Tax Department head Kong Vibol and Prime Minister Hun Sen telling the newspaper to pay up or leave.

The issue escalated on Monday when the Tax Department requested the Immigration Department prevent company Directors Deborah Krisher-Steele and Douglas Steele from leaving the country. Steele could not be reached yesterday.

The US Embassy paid tribute to the Daily as a professional platform for the growth of both local and foreign reporters, while also regretting that the Cambodian government could not provide a solution for the beleaguered newspaper. “The Cambodia Daily connected, informed, and inspired Cambodians and their friends, both here and internationally; with its closure, there is one less window into, and out of, Cambodia,” the Facebook post reads.

Amnesty International also released a statement saying it was “disturbing” how “ruthlessly and quickly” authorities moved to shut down one of the country’s few “independent voices”.

Global Witness said the closure was a heavy blow to tackling systemic corruption and part of a sweeping attack on voices critical of the ruling party and Hun Sen.

“Cambodian newsstands yesterday were emblazoned with the headline ‘Descent into outright dictatorship’ – an apt parting shot for the final edition of the Cambodia Daily, a paper whose motto was ‘all the news, without fear or favour’” the statement reads.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all

  • Ex-RFA journos accuse outlet

    Two former Radio Free Asia journalists held a press conference yesterday claiming they are each owed $28,000 by the US-funded radio broadcaster, which shuttered its in-country operations in September amid a government crackdown on independent media. The journalists, Sok Ratha and Ouk Savborey, maintained they organised