Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Trespassing’ journalists ordered to renew press passes

‘Trespassing’ journalists ordered to renew press passes

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith on Sunday confirmed the journalists’ press passes had expired. Supplied

‘Trespassing’ journalists ordered to renew press passes

The provincial director of Kampong Speu’s Information Department on Monday ordered four journalists to renew their press passes after they allegedly extorted money from a soil excavation company and entered Tmat Porng Military School unpermitted.

Men Sinoun said she questioned the journalists on Saturday before allowing them home.

“I merely asked them to obtain proper press passes before going anywhere to seek information. I asked them to adhere to professional standards of journalism.

“They came to see the quarry and demanded money. While my husband, the deputy head of the military training school, said he did not mind them coming to ask for money – since they weren’t asking for much and because they were local journalists – I wanted to know which media outlet they worked for.

“I asked for a copy of their press cards and they had expired,” Sinoun said.

Ministry of Information spokesman Phos Sovann said on Monday that some provincial reporters did not adhere to professional codes of conduct.

“Some people pretend to be journalists to obtain money from private companies. But I urge all reporters to adhere to professional practices to avoid tarnishing the reputation of news media.

A Facebook post by Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith on Sunday confirmed the journalists’ press passes had expired.

However, they responded on Facebook that they had been informed by villagers in the Tmat Porng area of a soil excavation operation affecting the public road and the environment.

They said it was extremely dusty due to trucks carrying soil on National Road 51.

They tried to inspect the site and take pictures, they said, in the hope of obtaining a response from the company, but they did not get to meet the owner and left.

The journalists said they then encountered two soldiers on a motorbike and were forced into the military base to meet the commander.

“They threatened to handcuff us. They said they would send us to the military police if we published any stories. We were forced to delete all the images taken at the quarry,” their Facebook post read.

The head of military school asked them why they had entered the base without permission, a claim they denied.

They said he told them that the quarry belonged to the military school and that reporters, and Ministry of Mines and Energy officials, had been informed of the operation.

“The military commander asked to take pictures of our passes. After that, his subordinate told us to put thumbprints on a written contract, prohibiting us from publishing a story about the operation. After we provided the thumbprints, he allowed us to leave.

“We would like to ask the provincial Department of Information to correct the accusation that we entered the military school without permission. It was not like that,” they wrote.

Three of the journalists are reporters – Kem Sros, from the Khmer Power newspaper; Touch Sambo, who works for the National Liberation newspaper and Sreng Song, from Chuay Khmer News.

The fourth, Touch Sambath, is editor-in-chief of akktvonline.net.


  • Rainsy vow to return on Nov 9 dismissed as ‘political warfare’

    An announcement from the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) that its “acting president” Sam Rainsy would return to the Kingdom on November 9 was dismissed on Sunday as “political warfare”. The CNRP made the announcement on Friday after a permanent committee meeting chaired by

  • Kingdom rejects VN request

    Cambodia rebuffed Vietnam’s request to provide nationality to its citizens living in Kratie, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces, with officials saying law enforcement is the Kingdom’s responsibility. Chheang Vun, the head of the National Assembly’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation,

  • Smoke from mattress factory fire seen throughout Phnom Penh

    Plumes of black smoke overtook the skies of the capital as an inferno burned Heng Heng Mattress factory to the ground in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. The fire began in the main building of the facilities around 1pm, before spreading to adjoining residential buildings

  • Official transferred after pointing at car with foot

    The deputy director of the Siem Reap provincial Registration and Driver’s Licence Unit at the Department of Public Works and Transport who last week pointed at the number plate of a car taken in for a technical check with her foot has been transferred.