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Journalists complain of illegal detention

Journalists complain of illegal detention

A LOCAL journalists’ association has filed a complaint on behalf of a publisher in Kampong Thom province who says police arrested him while he was researching an article about illegal logging.

Prak Tha, publisher of the Khmer-language Rasmey Aesan News, accused a commune police chief in Kratie province of illegally detaining him in a July 21 incident.

According to the complaint filed Thursday, Prak Tha said he headed to an area in Kratie’s Chroy Banteay commune, where he had been told people were loading boats with illegal timber.

But police officials arrested him and four colleagues and confiscated his car and equipment, he said. Prak Tha is demanding 10 million riels (US$2,359) to compensate for his “loss of honour”.

The commune’s police chief, Chroeung Chanthol, said he was too busy to comment on the case yesterday.

Sok Sovann, president of the Press Council of Cambodia, which filed the complaint on behalf of Prak Tha, accused police of restricting journalistic freedom in the incident.

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