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

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group