Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry to take up journo case

Ministry to take up journo case

One of the two cars that were damaged during an alleged confrontation between timber traders and journalists in Rattanakkiri earlier this month. Photo supplied
One of the two cars that were damaged during an alleged confrontation between timber traders and journalists in Rattanakkiri earlier this month. Photo supplied

Ministry to take up journo case

The Ministry of Information formed a commission on Wednesday to investigate an incident that journalists and a NGO worker claim was a case of attempted murder during their investigation of illegal timber activity in Rattanakkiri last week.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith decided to create a commission to investigate the incident, which took place on February 1 in Veun Sai district, after receiving a request for intervention last week.

The journalists said a group of more than 10 people working for a timber trader known as “Meng” had “attempted to kill” them by ramming their car twice with another vehicle, and by throwing rocks and a metal rod at their car.

However, locals quoted by news outlet VD7 accused the journalists of trying to extort villagers and of threatening to handcuff a woman if she did not lead them to the timber.

District Governor Chhum Nhil, meanwhile, maintained yesterday that the altercation was a traffic accident and that “authorities are investigating the second” collision, adding that “Meng” was in Vietnam.

The journalists involved are Sok Sovann, of the Khmer Journalists for Democracy Association and the organisation Union Media of ASEAN, and five other journalists from little-known local news outlets, as well as a conservation NGO staffer.

Information Ministry spokesman Ouk Kimseng, head of the commission, said they would “start the work early next week”.

Though extortion allegations against “journalists” in timber cases are often reported and rarely investigated, he said the ministry had set up the committee in this case following a request from those involved.

Sovann said yesterday that the extortion allegations were “made up by Meng”, arguing that their car was hit twice making it an unlikely accident.

“They bribed some journalists to avoid printing the truth,” he said, adding that he had been a journalists’ rights advocate for more than 10 years.


  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Capital set to beef up security

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng held the first meeting of the year with heads of armed forces in the capital to review and repair the deficiencies related to gun control, drug crimes, social order disruptions due to alcohol consumption and traffic law enforcement. Municipal