Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - There is no place for ruffians

There is no place for ruffians

There is no place for ruffians

Police officers are members of the public service.

Their job is to ensure order by following clear guidelines within the law.

They are not above the law and, like general citizens, should be held accountable when they do the wrong thing.

On Friday four members of the city’s riot police surrounded Sovan Philong, a senior photographer with The Phnom Penh Post, who was taking pictures of home demolitions and evictions of residents from Boeung Kak lake.

The officers manhandled Sovan Philong, grabbed his shirt from the front and back as they shoved him, and illegally confiscated his camera equipment.

Sovan Philong was wearing his government-issued media-identification pass and was covering a breaking news story.

His equipment was returned to him about 90 minutes later.

A riot police officer was later on Friday questioned by another senior representative of The Phnom Penh Post who requested to see the person in charge to register a formal complaint.

The officer said: “My commanding officer has no name and no phone number.”

Cambodia has a reputation as being the beacon of free press in Southeast Asia.

This arrogant and heavy-handed behaviour does not mirror a society with a free press.

About 4,000 people will eventually be evicted from the lakeside to make way for a development by Shukaku Inc, a company owned by Lao Meng Khin who is a senator with the ruling party of Cambodia.

Shukaku employs security guards who have on occasions verbally abused and generally threatened staff members of The Phnom Penh Post.

The stand-over tactic has badly backfired and has made this newspaper even more committed to cover each event as it unfolds during the eviction and demolition process.

We will not be intimidated nor silenced.

The Phnom Penh Post is demanding a full inquiry into the assault and camera confiscation suffered by Sovan Philong.

This inquiry should be state-level and independent of the police.

Phnom Penh obviously needs riot police.

It does not need a division of the Keystone Kops.

It does not need ruffians dressed in police uniforms.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • 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