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Gloomy precedents in search for journalist's killer

Gloomy precedents in search for journalist's killer

KHMER journalists and human rights organisations are pessimistic that Thun Bun Ly's

killer will be brought to justice.

Co-President of the Khmer Journalists Association, Pin Samkon, said his organisation

had urged a thorough investigation by the Interior Ministry but was not confident

that it would happen.

"I do not have too much hope because we are on the fourth case [of the murder

of journalists] and no-one has been convicted for any crime.

"Where Thun Bun Ly was shot there were many witnesses. The government knew his

life was in danger, why did they not protect him? Why can't they?" Samkhon said.

"I think many people saw who did the shooting - I think the government can solve

this case. The government always supports a free press, but only by speaking, never

by actions."

Cambodian journalists have suffered violence and intimidation since the proliferation

of publications in the wake of the UNTAC sponsored national elections.

March 23, 1994 - Nguon Nonn, editor of Dom Ning Pel Prek (Morning News)

is imprisoned for alleging that Hok Long Dy, governor of Svay Rieng province and

his deputy Yuth Phou Tha, had stolen UN vehicles. He remains in prison for two days.

March 24, 1994 - Five people are wounded in a grenade attack on the office

of Antarakum (Intervention). The paper had recently published stories alleging corruption

in Funcinpec and the Cambodian People's Party (CPP).

May 16, 1994 - 17,000 copies of Sakal (Universe) are siezed and the journal

is banned for publishing cartoons which criticized the King for his past links with

the Khmer Rouge. The charges are dropped in late May.

June 10, 1994 - Tou Chhom Mongkol, editor in Chief of the bi-weekly Antarakam

(Intervention), is found dead with head injuries on Monivong Boulevard. His death

is attributed to a traffic accident but the body shows no sign of other injuries

and his motorcycle is unscathed.

July 8, 1994 - Ngoun Nonn, editor of Dom ning Pel Prek (Morning News) is

arrested for publishing articles which breached national security laws after he linked

senior CPP officials to a July 2 coup attempt. The paper is temporarily shut down

and Ngoun remains in custody for a month.

September 6, 1994 - Nun Chan, editor-in-chief of Samleng Yuvachun Khmer

(Voice of Khmer Youth) is shot and killed by two men near Wat Phnom. The paper had

been critical of Hun Sen and the CPP and alleged corruption in the government. Chan

had received several death threats after accusing several generals of selling state

property.

December 8, 1994 - Chan Dara, a reporter for Koh Santepheap (Island of

Peace) is shot and killed in Kompong Cham. Chan had written articles for Preap Normsar

(Pigeon Messenger) which alleged the Governor of Kompong Cham was involved in illlegal

logging and the governor's son guilty of murder. RCAF Lt Colonel Sath Soeun is arrested,

charged and found not guilty after a trial.

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