Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Slain journalist remembered

Slain journalist remembered

Slain journalist remembered

Five years after the murder of former Khmer Ideal newspaper editor Thun Bun Ly, the

identity and whereabouts of his killers remain a mystery.

Bun Ly, an activist of the former Khmer Nation Party (now merged into the Sam Rainsy

Party) was gunned down in broad daylight on a Boeng Keng Kang side street by two

unknown assailants on May 18, 1996, the same day his newspaper ran a story which

referred to Prime Minister Hun Sen as yuon-Sen. Yuon is a pejorative term commonly

used to refer to Vietnamese.

"The government seems to ignore all the cases [of violence against Cambodian

journalists]," said Prach Sim, Secretary-General of the Club of Cambodian Journalists

of official moves to solve Bun Ly's murder. "This [apathy] severely affects

Cambodia's freedom of the press."

More than 100 people attended a May 22 memorial ceremony organized for Bun Ly by

the Sam Rainsy Party in front of the National Assembly. There SRP Secretary-General

Eng Chhai Eang urged that authorities track down Bun Ly's murderers "no matter

what".

Bun Ly's widow Pen Nay, 45, said she has been living in fear since her husband's

death, forcing her to lie about the fate of her husband.

"I tell them that my husband died of a disease," she said. "I ask

the authorities to forget [Bun Ly's murder] because I am afraid the killers might

come back and take vengeance on our children."

Five Cambodian journalists have been murdered since the UNTAC-administered elections

in 1993. No arrests have been made in connection with those deaths.

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