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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub