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
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.