World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Journalist who covered illegal fishing beaten to death

Reporters Without Borders is appalled to learn that local newspaper reporter Suon Chan was beaten to death by fishermen outside his home in Peam Chhkork commune, in the central province of Kampong Chhnang, on 1 February, and that his coverage of illegal fishing may have been the reason.

“Like the Cambodian Centre for Independent Media (CCIM) and the United Nations, we urge the authorities to shed light on this act of savagery, to not rule a possible link to the victim’s work, and to bring those responsible to justice as soon as possible,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk, offering his heartfelt condolences to the family.

“If it is confirmed that Suon Chan was killed because of his work as a journalist, this murder would constitute yet another grave violation of freedom of information in Cambodia. A thorough investigation is needed to end the tradition of impunity for those who murder journalists in Cambodia.”

Suon Chan, 44, who worked for the Khmer-language newspaper Meakea Kampuchea (Cambodia’s Way), was attacked by a group of about ten fishermen when he left his home on the evening of 1 February to buy cigarettes.

The local police said that four of the fishermen beat him unconscious with stones and bamboo sticks, and that he died from injuries to the head and neck while being taken to hospital. Two friends who had heard his cries for help and who tried to intervene were also badly beaten and had to be taken to hospital.

The assailants fled but Peam Chhkork police chief Duong Vuthy said the four main suspects had been identified and were being actively sought by the police.

The police chief initially said that Suon Chan’s articles about illegal fishing in the commune could have been the motive for the attack. But he subsequently retracted and said the police were still investigating the motive. Suon Chan’s assailants nonetheless may have been fishermen who had been the targets of measures taken by the police on the basis of information he had gathered.

Ranked 143rd out of 179 countries in the 2013 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, Cambodia is notorious for the impunity enjoyed by those responsible for using violence against journalist.

Reporters Without Borders is appending a CCIM list of 12 journalists whose murders in the past 10 years have gone unpunished.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: US Bomb Strikes Hospital In Kunduz

According to US military sources, “there may have been collateral damage” to the medical facility. “This incident is under investigation.” A statement issued by the office of the President Ashraf Ghani said that Army General John Campbell, chief of US-led forces in Afghanistan, apologised. More>>


Binoy Kampmark: The Fall Of Tony Abbott

The question was one of timing. The Coalition had been registering losses in poll after poll. The Abbott style hardly improved after a spill was forced on the party. Despite claiming that he would be ushering in a spring clean, he continued bypassing ministers and MPs... More>>



Pacific.Scoop: Smaller Pacific States Call For Coal Moratorium

PNG Loop: Leaders of the Pacific Smaller Island States have called on all nations – especially the advanced economies in the region – to rise to the challenge of climate change. They want to steer the world on a path where climate change is no longer a threat to earth. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news