Authorities respond to a high school student who fainted in Pursat's Veal Veng district in early February. (Supplied by Veal Veng District Police)

Week of Faintings at Pursat School Prompts Spiritual Interventions

More than 70 students at a Pursat high school have fainted over the last week, with some officials attributing the incidents to unhappy spirits at the school, whereas health officials said they believed the students were likely caused by minor health issues.

Cars drive past a mall facing the Two Lions Roundabout in Sihanoukville on May 30, 2022. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Two Killed in Sihanoukville Club Fire

Two people have died and three were injured after Sihanoukville’s Julie & Anna Entertainment Club caught fire on Monday night in Sihanoukville’s Bei commune.

Rong Chhun announces he will join the Candlelight Party at the Cambodia Independent Teachers' Association office in Phnom Penh on January 31, 2023. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)

Union Leader Rong Chhun Joins Candlelight 

Prominent unionist Rong Chhun joined the Candlelight Party on Tuesday, months shy of the national election and he expected a “big achievement” for the party in July.

Officers walk outside the burnt down Grand Diamond Casino in Poipet city on December 31, 2022. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Compensation Plans Unclear for Casino Fire Victims

Officials are studying the “legal aspects” of compensation with a Poipet casino after a fire killed at least 26 people while those trapped inside reported a lack of alarms, sprinklers and safety measures.

A huge fire engulfs the Grand Diamond City Casino in Poipet city on December 29, 2022. (Banteay Meanchey Provincial Police Facebook page)

19 Confirmed Dead So Far After Huge Poipet Casino Fire

At least 19 bodies have been pulled from a Poipet city casino, including Cambodian, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese workers — and the death toll could double, provincial authorities said Thursday afternoon.

A colorful tented resort along a newly-plowed road seen from the edge of Mondulkiri's Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary on February 11, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Four Land Disputants Arrested in Mondulkiri

Mondulkiri prosecutors are questioning four people arrested after a confrontation between authorities and residents over an alleged land grab in Keo Seima district. 

Agriculture Minister Dith Tina takes a selfie during a meeting with former GDP officials Yang Saing Koma and Loek Sothea and Prime Minister Hun Sen, in a photo posted to the premier's Facebook page on November 28, 2022.

GDP Leader Meets Hun Sen, Likely to Move to Agriculture Ministry

Opposition party leader and agriculture expert Yang Saing Koma and a colleague met with Prime Minister Hun Sen to discuss plans to recover the agriculture sector, with a ministry official saying he will be offered a secretary of state position in the government.

Banteay Meanchey civil servant Oeun Thy (center) signs a paper after his detention for criticizing rice prices, in a photo posted by the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Police on November 18, 2022.

Government Official Chastised for Rice-Price Critique

The Banteay Meanchey police detained and demanded an apology from a civil servant who criticized the government for weak rice prices in the country’s northwestern provinces, days after the Agriculture Ministry warned against any critical social media posts about rice prices.

A casino in Poipet in 2012 (Wikimedia Commons)

Chinese Corpse Found in Banteay Meanchey Stream

The body of a Chinese man was found in a local stream after the man’s girlfriend posted online that he went missing from Poipet city, offering a $100,000 reward to find him.

A screenshot from a Youtube video promoting the website OL669, posted on September 29, 2022.

Warning Issued Over Football-Themed Investment Scam

The anti-cybercrime police said it was investigating complaints of fraud against a football-themed investment that allegedly lured people to send money before cutting off their withdrawals, and urged caution around online investments.

Prime Minister Hun Sen walks down the stairs of the presidential plane on his arrival at Ngurah Rai International Airport ahead of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia on November 14, 2022. (G20 Media Center/Reuters)

Hun Sen Tests Positive for Covid-19, to Miss APEC

Prime Minister Hun Sen is returning home from Indonesia after testing positive for Covid-19, he said this morning, noting he has no symptoms but will miss meetings with Chinese and French leaders.

Kham Salong sits at her and Chhorn Phalla's home in Ratanakiri province on July 17, 2022. (Meng Kroypunlok/VOD)

Jailed Forest Activist’s Wife Says He Is Sick in Prison

Jailed forest activist Chorn Phalla’s wife said Phalla was getting sick in prison and asked for his release, though a prison official disputed the account saying there were doctors inside and the activist was fine.

Khmer Thavrak members dressed in orange prison-style jumpsuits march near Freedom Park during their hunger strike during the Asean Summit on November 9, 2022. (Kay Nara/VOD)

Protest Groups Undeterred by Asean Summit Ban

Land protesters have begun camping out at a controversial lake, activists are undertaking a hunger strike, and unionists will continue their casino protests despite threats of legal action for gathering during the Asean Summit.

A woman protesting the road expansion in Phnom Penh's Russei Keo district holds an address marker while speaking to a reporter on November 1, 2022. (Hean Rangsy/VOD)

Land Disputes: Protests in Angkor, Petitions in Phnom Penh

Hundreds of residents in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh protested this week over displacement due to an Angkor resettlement plan, the sand-filling of Boeng Tamok lake, and a road expansion project in the capital’s Russei Keo.

A camera on a tripod. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Filmmaking Students Allege Sexual Harassment by Bophana Center Trainers

Female filmmaking trainees are speaking out about alleged sexual harassment at a Bophana Center training program — including inappropriate conversations on field trips and touching they felt uncomfortable with — saying they don’t want it to keep happening to other women.

The "Welcome to Batam" sign on a hillside in Batam city, Indonesia on July 16, 2022. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Learning to Scam Under the Threat of Tasers

Indonesian nationals rescued from a Phnom Penh scam compound say they were targeting Facebook users every day to cheat them out of thousands of dollars. Most are relieved to have gotten away from the criminal work and threat of violence that hovered over them.

House and shop demolitions in Angkor Archaeological Park in September 2022. (Supplied)

Angkor Wat Vendors Petition PM to Remain in Temple Park

Officials have ordered the owners of about 57 souvenir and restaurant stalls near Angkor Wat to take down their stands and leave the complex by Friday, but vendors petitioned for relocation inside the park.

A screenshot from a TikTok video showing a man preparing to jump from a building in Bavet city.

Bavet Escape Attempt Leads to Falling Death

A Vietnamese man jumped from the second story of a Bavet city building and died trying to escape a compound on Tuesday, but it was not “detention,” police said.

Thirteen defendants in the CNRM trial are taken back to prison after they and eight others were convicted on Thursday. (Ouch Sony/VOD)

13 CNRM Mass Trial Defendants Appeal Convictions

At least 13 former CNRP activists who were convicted in March for their involvement in the formation of the overseas CNRM opposition movement and for comments about the Covid-19 response appealed their sentences at the Appeal Court on Tuesday. 

Kampong Thom provincial military police chief Hang Thol in August 2021, in a photo from the Kampong Thom provincial military police Facebook page.

Deputy Village Chief Killed in Online Gambling Sting

Eleven Kampong Thom military police officers have been detained for an investigation into the death of a deputy village chief that occurred during a crackdown at an alleged online lottery cafe, said the provincial military police commander. 

Two men lean on parked luxury cars near the Two Lions Roundabout in the center of Sihanoukville on May 31, 2022. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Two Shootings in One Night in Sihanoukville

Four Vietnamese nationals have been arrested for shooting and injuring a police officer in Sihanoukville last night, while the city saw a second roadside shooting around 1 a.m., according to police.

The groundbreaking ceremony for a new ship maintenance facility at Ream Naval Base, posted to Defense Minister Tea Banh's Facebook page on June 8, 2022.

Cambodia Breaks Ground on Ream Shipyard Amid Grumblings

Amid U.S. reports alleging Cambodia is giving space to the Chinese military at the Ream Naval Base, Defense Minister Tea Banh on Wednesday inaugurated construction on a major ship-maintenance facility there.

District guards shove NagaWorld workers onto a bus, in a screenshot of a video on May 25, 2022. (Supplied)

NagaWorld Protesters Change Up Tactics

Ongoing casino workers’ protests diverged slightly from its usual routine on Wednesday as the demonstrators were able to rally outside Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino for around 20 minutes before being forced on buses and taken away.

A voter in 2017. (Photo: Heng Vichet)

Gov’t-Linked Groups Dominate Election Observer Registrations

The top NGOs registered to observe next month’s commune election have evident links to state officials — one headed by a prime minister’s son, another by a deputy prime minister, and a third by a ministry’s secretary of state.

CPP supporters in Phnom Penh on May 21, 2022. (Hean Rangsey/VOD)

CPP Letters on Polling Station Staff Training Raise Red Flags

Two ambiguously worded letters from CPP Phnom Penh members calling for polling station staffers to attend training have sparked concern from opposition parties saying the letters appeared to be inviting NEC officials to receive ruling party guidance.

Cambodia Reform Party founder Ou Chanrath.

Ou Chanrath Interview: ‘I Don’t Want to See Cambodia Become a Second China’

If the Cambodia Reform Party were to win commune positions, it would work to empower the grassroots and ensure there is no corruption in the delivery of public services, said party founder Ou Chanrath. He had to contest this election because an uncontested ballot risked turning Cambodia into a “second China,” he said.

Bunong villager Pon Peul herds her buffaloes back as the dusk sets in, in March 2022. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

‘Everything Changed’: Cambodia’s Gold Rush Weighs on Indigenous Livelihoods

Labeled a “great achievement” for Cambodia’s post-pandemic recovery, the country’s biggest goldmine also exemplifies some of the challenges facing indigenous communities seeking to protect traditions. “It’s something very dangerous to lose culture, lifestyle and traditional practices,” one Bunong lawyer said.

A screenshot from a video of a shoe being thrown toward Prime Minister Hun Sen as he meets a crowd in the U.S. on May 11, 2022.

Hun Sen Vexed About US Shoe Throwing

Prime Minister Hun Sen asked supporters to tolerate a shoe thrown at him in Washington, but pondered why U.S. officials didn’t respond to a violent action.

The publisher, T. Mohan

Sexual Harassment Trial Held Against Khmer Times Publisher

A sexual harassment trial against the publisher of the Khmer Times newspaper was held in absentia at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday morning after neither defendant T. Mohan nor a defense lawyer appeared for the hearing.

Touch Rachhan wears his gold medal for kickboxing in a photo with the Cambodian delegation for the Southeast Asia Games in Vietnam on May 15, 2022. (Supplied)

Cambodian Kickboxers Switched Codes Ahead of Gold Medal

The ongoing Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam were only the second time Cambodian athletes competed at the games in kickboxing, and the fighters had to learn to avoid using their elbows and knees — as they were trained in another sport, local martial art kun khmer.

A group photo of people in tax department uniforms, which the General Department of Taxation shared warning these people are impersonating officials, in a photo posted on the department's Facebook page on May 12, 2022.

Tax Department Warns of Online Imposters

A group of people have taken to social media wearing tax department uniforms and are suspected of attempting fraud, the department said on Thursday.

Bank and microfinance institution offices in Phnom Penh (Matt Surrusco)

World Bank-Linked Watchdog Accepts Complaint on ‘Reckless’ Microloans

The watchdog group within World Bank sister organization International Finance Corporation (IFC) will assess a wide swath of the Cambodian microfinance sector after accepting a complaint alleging these lenders’ practices have caused social harms, civil society groups announced today.

Chan Sarath (left) and U Roem exit the Supreme Court after their hearing on April 20, 2022. (Supplied)

Bomb-Plot Prison Sentences Appealed

A group of convicted plotters appealed their sentences on Wednesday, arguing that an electronic device portrayed during their trial as a bomb detonator was insufficient evidence that they had violent plans.

Crocodiles sunbathe and sit in a pond at a private farm in Pursat's Krakor district on April 9, 2022. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Brief: Siem Reap Official Dies After Crocodile Bite

A police official in Siem Reap province who is believed to have slipped into a crocodile pool when he got up in the middle of the night died from his injuries Tuesday afternoon, according to police.

Oddar Meanchey police walk through a street market during Khmer New Year festivities in Samraong city in a photo posted to Facebook on April 15, 2022. (Oddar Meanchey Provincial Police)

Three Youths Arrested for New Year Rape and Murder

Anger erupted in an Oddar Meanchey village as three youths aged 15 to 18 were arrested for allegedly raping and murdering a 17-year-old girl during the night after a New Year village dance party, police said.

A man drives a motorbike into the gate of Canteran Factory in Phnom Penh's Pur Senchey district after a protest disbanded on the morning of April 19, 2022. (Roun Ry/VOD)

Hundreds of Factory Workers Protest on Veng Sreng Blvd

About 200 factory workers protested on Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Blvd. for about an hour Tuesday morning after they learned that their struggling factory had removed valuable equipment from its premises.

Prime Minister Hun Sen gestures during a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh on March 10, 2020, in this photograph posted to Hun Sen's Facebook page.

Kampot Governor Orders Hun Sen’s Photo in Every Classroom

Kampot education must build a “culture of gratitude” with a photo of Prime Minister Hun Sen in every classroom and a daily routine of bowing to it and giving thanks for the roofs under which students learn, the provincial governor has said.

The National Election Committee holds a meeting in a photo posted April 4, 2022. (National Election Committee's Facebook page)

Candidate Rejections Are Done: Elections Spokesperson

The opposition Candlelight Party has been entirely stripped of candidates in 11 communes, but the national elections body is now done removing nominees for the June election, a spokesperson said on Monday.

Prime Minister Hun Sen views an infrastructure project poster in Siem Reap province during a speech on April 4, 2022. (Hun Sen's Facebook page)

Hun Sen Suggests End to Mask Mandate

Cambodian provinces could begin easing requirements to wear Covid-19 face masks, Prime Minister Hun Sen suggested in a speech on Monday, citing costs for people and the reality that many gatherings are already taking place without masks.

NagaWorld protesters are again forced onto buses on March 22, 2022. (Ros Lyheng)

NagaWorld Union to Boycott Next Negotiation Meeting

NagaWorld union representatives said they will not attend the third negotiation meeting to resolve their dispute on Wednesday because the casino corporation refuses to discuss reinstatement of workers. 

The Venerable Prom Thomacheat carrying food for a resident gibbon in the Metta Forest around his pagoda in Trapeang Chour commune. The monk lives a hermit-like existence near the Oral Wildlife Sanctuary in Kampong Speu. (Andrew Haffner/VOD)

In Tranquil Forest, Nature-Loving Monk Faces a Military Threat

In Kampong Speu, a forest-dwelling monk hoots to mimic animals’ cries and talks of living in harmony with nature. But the community forest where he lives has been handed to the military, and nearby residents are camping among the trees to protect the land.

A satellite map of Sihanoukville's four communes. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Crimes in Shadows: Sihanoukville’s Grisly Reports, Pressure on Journalists

Murders, kidnappings, corpses on the beach — news reports out of Sihanoukville paint a picture of violent and serious crime in the coastal city. But authorities are increasingly shutting down information about police work and pressuring journalists over negative stories, crime reporters say.

Screenshots from security footage posted by Duong Chhay’s ex-wife Deth Malina on her Facebook page.

Opinion: Harnessing Popular Pressure in the Name of Gender Equity

Public and official attention on gender issues in Cambodia has followed a boom and bust cycle: Viral cases of abuse lead to temporary political goodwill, with little sustained progress. But citizens’ voices can move powerful people, writes researcher Theang Soriya.

Sre Ken village in Kampong Speu in January 2022. (Andrew Haffner/VOD)

Malady and Magic: The Murders of Cambodia’s ‘Black Magic’ Practitioners

In Kampong Speu’s Sre Ken village, an 18-year-old’s alleged murder of his stepfather was met with sympathy. “Nobody disliked him,” a resident said of the 18-year-old. “But mostly we wished [the stepfather] would die.” The older man had been suspected of using black magic.

Flowers on sale on Valentine's day in Phnom Penh. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)

Updated: Caution Spreads as Covid-19 Tops 500 Daily Cases

Daily Covid-19 cases hit 500 on Monday as Phnom Penh officials set off to remind restaurants to keep up health precautions on Valentine’s Day evening. No significant changes in health measures have been announced so far.

Men Ratha, treasurer of the union inside Hi-Tech Apparel within the Poipet O'Neang SEZ, waters her plants at home on November 26, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Unions Looking for Place Within SEZ Boundaries

Cambodia has opened its arms to foreign businesses through special economic zones, which offer investors space, tax incentives and relatively cheap labor. As such zones expand, unions are trying to access the factories behind SEZ gates, as labor compliance sometimes falls by the wayside.

NagaWorld protesters ask to be allowed to go home on February 4, 2022. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)

Updated: Authorities Raise Pressure on NagaWorld Protesters, Citing Covid-19

Police blocked NagaWorld strikers from leaving their daily rally late Friday afternoon, saying they needed to be tested for Covid-19. An earlier positive test for a woman — who said she has not attended the protests since January 15 after finding out she was pregnant — led to a strong health response on Friday.

An online cosmetics seller’s page on Facebook. (VOD)

Warnings Multiply Alongside Burgeoning Online Cosmetics Trade

The sale of cosmetics is booming online. But the Health Ministry is routinely alerting the public of the risks of unregistered products that have not been tested for their toxicity, while medical professionals warn of long-term risks.

Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurates a sky bridge on National Road 5 on 31 January, 2022. (Hun Sen's Facebook page)

Hun Sen Clarifies: ‘Peace’ Means No War

In a monologue debating against unnamed analysts, Prime Minister Hun Sen dismissed criticisms that Cambodia was not fully at peace due to ongoing social injustices.

Land Activists Arrested in Kampong Chhnang

Three community representatives involved in a long-running dispute with the energy minister’s wife were taken into police custody over the weekend in relation to a separate dispute, residents said.

Farms on flooded forest areas in Kampong Chhnang province in January 2022. (Kuoy Langdy/VOD)

How Cambodia’s Protected ‘Flooded Forests’ All but Disappeared

On paper, the protected biosphere reserve around Tonle Sap lake is a flooded forest. But across vast tracts in Kampong Chhnang, there are only rice fields or uncultivated wetlands, bare of any substantial trees. Decades of encroachment have only accelerated in recent years.

A police van drives out of the Supreme Court gates on January 12, 2022. (Ouch Sony/VOD)

Confused Farmers Roam Supreme Court Over Conviction

Five Banteay Meanchey farmers appealed their five-year prison sentences over encroachment of nearly 2,000 hectares at the Supreme Court on Wednesday, though major elements of the case remained unclear even during the appeal.

Kem Sokha leaves the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on January 30, 2020. (Ouch Sony/VOD)

Return or Limbo: Possible Paths as Kem Sokha Hints at Deal

Speculation has been rife about whether the resumption of Sokha’s trial — nearly two years after it was stopped due to Covid-19 — signaled an imminent political deal that could see the former CNRP president return to politics.

NagaWorld workers speak to journalists outside the Labor Ministry in Phnom Penh on January 10, 2022. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)

Seven International Labor Groups Back NagaWorld Strikers

International labor groups criticized NagaWorld’s “long-standing failure” to respect workers’ rights and authorities’ “undue interference” of a legitimate strike, as one representative said the groups would bring the dispute before the ILO and Asean, and affiliated workers overseas would also look to exert pressure.

Sorm Sopha, who worked at NagaWorld for 26 years, holds an umbrella and a photo of imprisoned union leader Chhim Sithar during a labor rally on January 14, 2022. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)

Dismissed After a 26-Year Stint at NagaWorld: ‘My Heart Dropped’

Som Sophea witnessed NagaWorld grow from a cruise ship to a sprawling casino complex. The company recognized her for two decades of service, but fired her during year 26. One month into a labor strike, Sophea says she wants respect for longtime employees.

US Ambassador Patrick Murphy and CNRP president Kem Sokha outside Sokha’s Phnom Penh home on November 11, 2019. (Sanh Bun Hoeun/VOD)

Kem Sokha Trial: The Case So Far

After almost two years of break, VOD looks back at coverage of former opposition leader Kem Sokha’s trial for alleged attempts to topple the government with foreign assistance.

The Don Sahong dam, with the Sadam channel visible behind it, on August 14, 2020. (Enric Català/VOD)

Mekong Drought, Tonle Sap Fish Shortage Tied to Low Rainfall, Hydropower: MRC

The Mekong river endured three years of drought and its lowest-ever water levels due to minimal rainfall as well as the actions of upstream hydropower dams, which had spillover effects for the Tonle Sap lake and Cambodia’s fishing industry that relies on it, according to a new report.

A NagaWorld workers’ rally on January 13, 2022. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)

Workers Get ‘Last Call’ From NagaWorld to Quit Strike

Active employees of NagaWorld on strike are getting phone calls from the casino asking them to return to work. Audio recordings of the calls heard by VOD reporters have casino management calling it the “last call.”

Kamsort, 23, stands in front of a signboard for an event in Phnom Penh from the organization Rainbow Community Kampuchea, where he said he found acceptance in the LGBTQ+ community. (Provided)

A Young Man on Questions That Alienate and Why Gay Marriage Should Be Law

His brother and mother were understanding when he came out, but some friends told him to change. For Kamsort, 23, the teasing questions have become tiresome. He says a gay marriage law will help change mindsets, as Rainbow Community Kampuchea embarks on a campaign for change.

Phnom Penh Appeal Court in 2019. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Chinese Businessman in Jail for 15 Years Over Surrogate Child

A Chinese businessman wanted a child in 2017 and paid a Chinese company to find him a surrogate. The surrogate, who was in Cambodia, gave birth to the child. But after the businessman arrived here to receive the baby, he was arrested for trafficking and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

A man checks the news on his smartphone. (Heng Vichet/VOD)

One-Year Imprisonment Upheld for Vaccine-Critical Facebook Posts

The Appeal Court on Tuesday upheld one-year jail sentences against two former opposition activists for incitement and insult after they criticized the distribution of Chinese-made Covid-19 vaccines in Cambodia before they were approved by the WHO.

A photo taken in Takhmao on the second week of January, 1979, by the Vietnamese military press. (Documentation Center of Cambodia)

No Hun Sen, No Commemorations as Muted Jan 7 Evokes Shift in Tone

The CPP has long heralded “Victory Over Genocide Day” as the second birthday of the country after the dark rule of the Khmer Rouge. But the lack of a public event on a day also branded as pro-Vietnamese hints at changing politics in addition to Covid-19 precautions.

The General Strike Coordination Body, an anti-junta group in Myanmar, has posted pictures online in protest of Hun Sen’s visit.

Hun Sen Sets Off for Myanmar Despite Strong Pushback

Hun Sen is set to meet with Myanmar’s military junta leadership on Friday even as pressure mounts on the Cambodian prime minister to refrain from taking unilateral actions as the chair of Asean.

LRSU president Chhim Sithar stands in front of a garden she planted outside her home in Phnom Penh on May 26, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

‘A Thousand Sithars’: NagaWorld Unionist Was Prepared for Arrest

NagaWorld union leader Chhim Sithar spent the days before her arrest getting the people around her ready. “The most concerning is my mom’s feelings. She might get sick, but sorry, mom, that will not stop me,” she said of not backing down. “They worry but they know what I’m doing is the right thing to do.”

A fisherman with his family in Phnom Penh. (Phorn Bopha/VOD)

Data Show Turbulence, Decline in Mekong River Ecosystems

Fishers say their daily catch has plunged again. According to researchers, disturbances to Mekong water flows due to hydropower dams and climate change have disrupted fish habitats, breeding grounds, abundance and diversity.

The ruling CPP’s congress on December 24, 2021, with Hun Manet second from right. (Sar Kheng’s Facebook page)

Updated: CPP Congress Picks Hun Manet as Next ‘Unity’ PM Candidate

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s eldest son and deputy military commander will be the ruling Cambodian People’s Party’s next prime ministerial candidate when his father decides to relinquish power, the party decided on Friday, according to the Information Ministry.

A photo of LRSU's Chhim Sithar from August 2019 was posted by an anonymous Facebook account alleging foreign involvement in the NagaWorld strike that started on Saturday. (Chhim Sithar's Facebook)

Color Revolution, Foreign Influence Accusations Cloud NagaWorld Strike

Accusations of foreign influence made against a local casino workers’ union mirror rhetoric deployed by government officials over the last few years to justify charges of treason, foreign interference and of a purported color revolution against the political opposition, activists and civil society groups.

Casino workers photographed during the third day of their strike against NagaWorld in Phnom Penh on December 20, 2021. (Ananth Baliga)

NagaWorld Workers Resume Day 3 of Strike

Around 200 workers have resumed their strike against alleged labor rights violations and mass terminations at NagaWorld casinos in Phnom Penh.

Former Cambodia Daily reporters Zsombor Peter and Aun Pheap. (Ben Woods)

Cambodia Daily Journalists’ Case Heard in Appeal Court

A lawyer representing two former Cambodia Daily reporters was hopeful the Tbong Khmum Appeal Court would uphold a lower court decision to drop incitement charges against them after a prosecutor said there was no new evidence to reinstate the charges.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court in December 2021. (Ananth Baliga/VOD)

Questioning About Overseas Trainings Continues in CNRP Mass Trial

Just one of 13 summoned defendants was present at the fifth hearing in a trial involving more than 40 former opposition members charged with plotting and incitement, as questioning again fell into a familiar pattern about links to the CNRP and overseas trainings.

Most of the forests surrounding the Tonle Sap lake are dry in December, although a few are still flooded, as seen on December 17, 2019 in Siem Reap province's Treay village. (Roun Ry)

After Two Weeks, 20,000 Ha of Flooded Forests Recovered

Following Prime Minister Hun Sen’s command two weeks ago to stop the Tonle Sap’s destruction, provincial governors say they have retaken thousands of hectares of protected flooded forests but are still working on investigating perpetrators.

Illicit drugs confiscated by authorities (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Highly Connected Mango Firm Denies Link to Major Drug Raid, Shootout

Eighty tons of ketamine precursors have been found following a fatal shootout and seizure of 1.4 tons of the drug that led authorities to a Kampong Speu lab, where a prominent agroindustrial company said it was merely leasing facilities within the same compound.

Australian Ambassador Pablo Kang poses with Covid-19 donations for Brigade 70 during a handover ceremony on December 11, 2021. (Facebook)

Rights Group Slams Australian Meeting with ‘Notorious’ RCAF Unit

An international rights group has criticized the local Australian Embassy for participating in an event involving the military’s Brigade 70, which has been accused of being part of a grenade attack in 1997 against Sam Rainsy, among other alleged rights violations. 

Hun Manith, the premier's second son and leader of RCAF's intelligence unit, wearing a uniform and mask in a photo posted May 21, 2021. (Facebook)

US Announces Arms Embargo, Hun Manith’s Unit Singled Out

The United States imposed an arms embargo on Cambodia for alleged rights violations and increasing Chinese military influence in the country, specifically targeting a military intelligence unit run by the prime minister’s son. 

Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng at a podium during a meeting, in a photo posted to his Facebook page on August 9, 2021.

Sar Kheng Is Lone Manet Holdout Among Deputy Prime Ministers

Sar Kheng has not endorsed Hun Manet as Prime Minister Hun Sen’s likely successor, making him the lone holdout among the 10 deputy prime ministers. His nine peers have all signed onto public statements of support for Hun Sen’s eldest son.

Supporters of the banned opposition CNRP sit across the street from the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on January 14, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

CNRP Mass Trials Set to Resume This Week

Two CNRP mass trials involving dozens of defendants are set to be heard at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court this week after being delayed by the “February 20” Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year.

Hun Manet on a visit to China in February 2020. (Hun Manet’s Facebook page)

Hun Sen Endorses Son as Next PM, Dismisses Sar Kheng’s Chances

In his most clear comments about succession, Prime Minister Hun Sen said his oldest son and army commander Hun Manet would take over from him, while shooting down any chances of rumored prime ministerial hopeful and Interior Minister Sar Kheng’s ascension.

CNRP co-founder Kem Sokha, center, and GDP co-founder Yang Saing Koma, right, during a visit to a farm in Pursat province in November 2020, in this photograph posted to Saing Koma's Twitter page.

CNRP Rift Points Toward Sokha’s Return to Politics: Analysts

Kem Sokha’s comments stirred a flurry of speculation and commentary online, with armchair political analysts in and outside the country trying to make sense of what this meant for the CNRP — once the most credible political threat to the CPP’s stranglehold on power.

Health Minister Mam Bunheng inspects a new medical facility in Tbong Khmum province on November 23. (Ministry of Health)

Omicron Spreads, Impact Unclear as WHO Advises Caution in Cambodia

Omicron, which was first detected in southern Africa earlier this month, has shown signs of quickly spreading through populations. The WHO was notified of the variant on Wednesday based on a sample collected in South Africa on November 9.

Prince Norodom Ranariddh. (Funcinpec’s Facebook page)

Former Prime Minister and Royalist Leader Prince Ranariddh Dies

Funcinpec leader and former prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh died Sunday morning, according to the Funcinpec Party, capping off a turbulent political career that coincided with the country’s emergence as a fledgling democracy in the early 1990s.

Barbed wire has been wrapped around a gate closing off trains tracks crossing Poipet’s international border with Thailand. (Ananth Baliga/VOD)

Thai Nationals Rescued, Repatriated from Pursat SEZ

Military police spokesperson Eng Hy said Cambodian and Thai authorities had rescued 103 Thai nationals from a Pursat province special economic zone on Tuesday morning and brought the individuals across the border on Wednesday morning. 

Hun Sen attacks CNRP

‘Hun Sen Does Not Bow to Any Pressure’: Hun Sen

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Tuesday he would deal with “extremists” – a thinly-veiled reference to the CNRP – before considering handing over power to the “younger generation.”

Tycoon Try Pheap in a photo posted on February 17, 2021 (Facebook: Try Pheap Group)

Police Rescue Cambodian Woman From Try Pheap SEZ, Deny She Was Sold

Police rescued a woman from a quarantine center for Try Pheap’s Special Economic Zone in Pursat on Wednesday night. But she had merely wanted to leave “because it was too quiet,” an official said, without answering why police intervention was needed.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith

Information Minister Rebuffs Governor: Arresting Journalists Is Wrong

In a rejection of a provincial leader’s push for hardline monitoring of journalists, the head of the Ministry of Information this week denounced the arbitrary detention of two reporters and urged authorities to more closely cooperate with media workers.

The former headquarters of dissolved opposition CNRP in Phnom Penh's Meanchey district on November 15, 2021. (Mech Dara/VOD)

Updated: Court to Put CNRP Headquarters on Sale

UPDATED: Citing around $2 million in unpaid penalties, the courts announced that the outlawed CNRP’s former headquarters would be placed on sale. “The CNRP HQ is the symbol of democracy for the majority of the people of Cambodia,” Mu Sochua responded.

Kampot Residents, Journalists Released

Two journalists arrested for covering a Kampot land protest were released on Thursday after being detained earlier this week, while three others who were part of the land dispute were released from detention.

Voeun Veasna, an activist with the court-dissolved CNRP opposition, pictured on a street in Thailand. (Photo from the activist's Facebook page)

Two Opposition Activists Extradited From Thailand

Opposition CNRP activists Voeung Samnang and Voeun Veasna were arrested by Thai authorities in Bangkok this week and handed over to Phnom Penh authorities, confirmed a government official on Thursday.

Navy commander Tea Vinh (Tea Vinh’s Facebook page)

US Ratchets Up Sanctions Pressure on Cambodia

Overnight, the U.S. sanctioned two more Cambodian military figures, announced a review of Cambodia’s trade benefits, and warned U.S. businesses of exposure to rights-abusing, criminal and corrupt Cambodian entities, as the country had made “no meaningful changes” to repeatedly raised concerns.

Island of the Rich: As Sand Dune Rises, Old Neighborhood Upturned

As mega-developer OCIC completes the filling-in of Phnom Penh’s new island, Koh Norea, nearby Chbar Ampov residents are staring at a mound of sand anxiously unsure if they will be evicted by the development or driven out by real estate speculation.

Barren patches of land pepper O'Reang district's landscape as a result of deforestation. (Heng Vichet/VOD)

Cambodia Cops Out of COP26 Forest Protection Pledge

Cambodia was among a minority of countries who did not sign a pledge to conserve and expand its forested ecosystems at COP26 last week despite forest loss being the country’s highest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

Opposition Activist’s Teenage Son Released From Prison

The boy, released to a throng of journalists and supporters outside Correctional Center 2 on Wednesday morning, knelt down in front of his mother to pay respects before hugging each other and receiving a bouquet of flowers.

The Cambodian Embassy in Beijing in 2008. (Wikimedia Commons)

Bride Rescues From China Number More Than One a Day

More than 300 trafficked Cambodian women were returned from China in the first nine months of the year, mostly after being scammed into marriages, according to the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Two police officers detained eight Cambodian migrant workers in the back of a police pickup truck after workers held a petition at the Thai Labor Ministry on October 29, 2021. (Labor Network for People's Rights)

Migrant Workers’ Arrest Calls Attention to Thailand Legal Negligence

Chhay Loeum, a Cambodian migrant, was rounded up by police from Thailand’s Labor Ministry along with seven other workers making an appeal over unpaid wages. Rights advocates say the incident illustrates the Thai government’s broken promises and indifference to one of the most vulnerable groups in Thai society.

New Round of Airport Compensation Meets Resistance

Sixty-six houses are marked for measurement to make way for the airport construction, according to a letter issued by the Kandal Stung district governor. The survey would collect data on affected families in preparation for compensation.

Sovann Rithy, editor of the TVFB news site, holds up a smartphone at the Phnom Penh Municipal Police Headquarters following his arrest on April 7, 2020. (Phnom Penh Municipal Police)

Stalking the Messenger: Ending Impunity for Illegal Surveillance

Increasingly used as a laser-focused tactic, a weapon to intimidate, instil fear, and paralyse the work of journalists, illegal surveillance puts sources at risk and impedes journalists from providing us with information to expose crime and corruption, and to speak the truth about power.

Kem Sokha speaks to reporters at his house in Phnom Penh on the morning of January 22, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Kem Sokha Puts Phnom Penh Villa on Sale for $2.4M

Kem Sokha, Cambodia’s ex-opposition leader still awaiting the resumption of his treason trial, has put his six-bedroom Toul Kork district home on the market for $2.4 million.

Prime Minister Hun Sen, in a photo posted to his Facebook page on November 1, 2021.

Hun Sen Announces ‘Full Reopening,’ Home Quarantine for Some

Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the reopening of the country at a vaccination event on Monday, and did not detail if there would be further relaxing of existing quarantine measures but said he was considering lifting restrictions on “high-risk” businesses.

Chim Phan and a prosthetic leg he uses for athletics. (Keat Soriththeavy/VOD)

Stalwart Para-Athletes Look Forward to Hanging Up Their Boots

Chim Phan is one of few Cambodian athletes with a disability who have represented, and continue to represent, the country at international para-athletic events. The athlete has had a long career and hopes to retire soon. He is 52 years old.

Residents Say Homes Demolished for Expressway Without Warning

More than 200 officers demolished dozens of Phnom Penh houses to make way for the $2-billion Sihanoukville expressway, part of China’s Belt and Road initiative, as residents rejected what they said was inadequate compensation.

Cambodia Pledges Forest Protection, Coal Reduction at Open of COP26

The conference generally pitches wealthy, high-emitting and highly-industrialized nations against low-emitting and less-industrial countries, especially those in the Pacific Islands that first feel the strain of rising water levels and temperatures. 

The Covid-19 checkpoint and entrance hall at Naga 2 on October 28, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

NagaWorld Built Empire With Offshore Companies, Loans From CEO

NagaWorld built its business — which earned more than $1.7 billion in yearly revenue before the pandemic — in part through the CEO’s use of his offshore companies and a series of loans that lifted the casino company’s value, according to documents and emails released in a major leak of offshore enterprise documents.


Cambodia-Based Businesspeople, Both Prominent and Obscure, Show Up in Pandora Papers

VOD identified nine offshore companies connected to Cambodian nationals or Cambodia-based business owners in the sweeping leak of offshore company files known as the Pandora Papers. A deeper look at the business history hints at further connections to powerful individuals for some of the companies included, while others are little-known.


Pandora Papers: An Offshore Data Tsunami

The investigation is based on a leak of confidential records of 14 offshore service providers that give professional services to wealthy individuals and corporations seeking to incorporate shell companies, trusts, foundations and other entities in low- or no-tax jurisdictions. The entities enable owners to conceal their identities from the public and sometimes from regulators. Often, the providers help them open bank accounts in countries with light financial regulation.

Illicit drugs confiscated by authorities (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Man Pleads Innocence at Supreme Court in Drug Production Case

A Cambodian man says he was not involved in drug production — a charge for which he was convicted in 2017 — and wants the Supreme Court to overturn his conviction based on testimony from a co-accused who said he was not part of the operations. 

Po Rorn, 54, a representative of a community in dispute with developer Borey Peng Huoth over 58 hectares in Phnom Penh's Chbar Ampov district. (Provided)

Representative Arrested in Land Dispute With Borey Peng Huoth

A representative of 241 families involved in a land dispute with a prominent developer in Phnom Penh’s Chbar Ampov district was arrested and sent to Prey Sar Prison on charges of trespassing and illegally destroying property.

VOD Weekly Update

VOD Weekly UpdateOctober 20-27 Features Kuy Villagers Reclaim Preah Vihear Sugar Plantation Residents were in dispute with Rui Feng since 2012, when communal lands were

Prime Minister Hun Sen walks with four bodyguards Nam Phiron, Long Da, Khut Sokhon and Orn Sothyrath. (Fresh News)

PM Bodyguards Promoted to Be Official Assistants

Prime Minister Hun Sen has promoted 25 people to be his official assistants, including a bodyguard who has received land on Phnom Penh’s Boeng Tamok lake and another who was nearly scammed online by a 14-year-old.

A student enters the campus of Phnom Penh’s Preah Sisowath High School on September 15, 2021. (Hy Chhay/VOD)

After Stress of a Long Absence, a Fragile Transition Back to School

In Cambodia, mental health workers say they’ve seen a spike in adolescents seeking help. Surveys have shown bouts of anxiety and depression among young people. The recent reopening of schools could be a relief, but it might not be an easy transition.

Surrogacy ‘Mastermind’ Appeals Sentence

A Chinese national serving a seven-year sentence for organizing illegal surrogacy argued on Monday that he was just staying at a friend’s house and didn’t know why there were dozens of pregnant women there.

The Cambodia Daily’s weekend edition from October 23, 2011.

30 Years of Press Coverage: Peace-Deal Commemorations’ Rising Heat

Anniversaries of the Paris Peace Agreements were not always prominent affairs. Largely overlooked by local newspapers until the landmark 20th anniversary, the day rose in visibility and contentiousness alongside the emergence of the popular opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, a look through newspaper archives shows.

Richie Fernando at Angkor archeological park in Siem Reap (Courtesy of Totet Banaynal)

Among Cambodia’s War-Wounded, a Brother Found His Vocation

Twenty-five years after Brother Richie Fernando’s death, the floor tiles in Kandal marked by the grenade blast that killed him have been relocated. But the Filipino missionary, who has been touted for sainthood, is still remembered for his acts of kindness.

Mixed bamboo and semi-evergreen forest in Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary in November 2018 (Wikimedia Commons)

Opinion: Visit Cambodia 2.0 — a Chance for Reinvention

Cambodia’s head start in vaccinations has the potential to give its embattled tourism sector a leg up amid the imminent reopening of travel. This is an opportunity to diversify the country’s offerings, writes La Trobe University research fellow Markus Bell.

Sok Kimly walks through alcohol spray as she arrives to the Supreme Court on October 12, 2021. (Ouch Sony/VOD)

Grenade-Attack Girlfriend Gets One Case Dropped, Another Reconsidered

Sok Kimly, 45, was previously found guilty of two attempts on her boyfriend’s life in 2015 and 2016. But on Tuesday, the Supreme Court overturned her conviction in the first failed assassination, involving a gun, and sent her second case — a grenade attack in central Phnom Penh — for retrial at the Appeal Court.

A room at an abandoned school building on Phnom Penh’s Street 144, on October 15, 2021. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Residents, Hun Sen Press Case for Phnom Penh’s Historical Architecture

Amid a call to save heritage buildings, a survey of Phnom Penh sites found volleyball courts in a French colonial police station, smartphone billboards wrapped around historical architecture, and a family of teachers keeping watch over a former U.S. Embassy building.

A map showing proposed zones within Union Development Group's 36,000-hectare concession, including entertainment, residential and business/industrial areas, in Koh Kong province. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

More Than 800 Families in Line for Land Lottery in UDG Settlements

UDG, a massive Chinese-owned, U.S.-sanctioned development in the coastal province, has been embroiled in disputes with residents for years, with more than 1,000 families forced off about 10,000 hectares, and 1,500 houses dismantled and cleared, according to past research reports.

Sok Kimly walks through alcohol spray as she arrives to the Supreme Court on October 12, 2021. (Ouch Sony/VOD)

Jealousy-Tinged Grenade Attack Case Reaches High Court

A woman convicted of masterminding a 2016 grenade attack in central Phnom Penh targeting her cheating boyfriend made an appeal at the Supreme Court that she had only sought for him to be threatened.

Aerial view of Cambodia's Prey Lang forest (Winrock International)

Prey Lang Activist Handed Two-Year Suspended Sentence

An anti-logging activist was on Tuesday convicted of assault against an alleged timber trader, as rights groups linked the verdict to ongoing harassment and intimidation against environmentalists in the country.

Phnom Penh's Water Festival in 2014 (Flickr/PhotAsia)

Water Festival Called Off as Phnom Penh Rolls Out Third Doses

Long boats will not race down the Tonle Sap in front of the Royal Palace this year after the government decided to again cancel the annual Water Festival. The announcement coincides with the start of a third-dose vaccine campaign in 11 capital districts.

A cave at Kampong Trach in Kampot province on August 27, 2021. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Praying for Land Sales at Holy Kampot Caves

“People like to come to wish for good luck,” Sok Chea says. “If they want to sell their property, like land, they will come to wish to make a deal happen sooner and to get a good price for their land.”

Motorists drive past a KTV.

Women at Karaoke Parlors Pressured Into Abortions to Keep Their Jobs

Six entertainment workers told VOD of forced pregnancy tests, pressure to terminate and the experience of self-induced abortions while trying to hold onto jobs. As the women experience potential trauma, the motivation among employers often comes down to superstition: Pregnant women are “four-eyed girls” bringing bad business.

African Sex Workers Face Digital Abuse as Pandemic Pushes Them Online

“I feel ashamed and anxious all the time. My partner left me and even my family won’t talk to me. I thought it was a safe and private way to make money, but virtual sex ruined my life,” said Otieno, whose name has been changed to protect her identity.

Koh Kong Official, Defense Minister Move to Arrest Journalist

An audio recording, shared with VOD, appears to show Defense Minister Tea Banh instructing Koh Kong officials to take action against journalist Youn Chhiv. Several government-aligned media outlets have reported on Banh’s instructions, including some that quoted from the recording.

Covid-19 precautions outside Phnom Penh’s Build Bright University on April 2, 2021. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

Universities to Reopen With Smaller Classes, Covid-19 Tests

Higher education institutions will be allowed to reopen after 18 months of disrupted learning, with the Education Ministry setting out guidelines such as mandatory vaccinations, Covid-19 testing and smaller classes to ensure social distancing.

Garment-Sector Minimum Wage Gets $2 Increase

The new wage was voted on after four rounds of weekly negotiations between unions, which initially suggested a $22 raise; employers, which wanted to see the minimum wage cut by $4; and the Labor Ministry.

Landfilling is underway at several areas of Phnom Penh’s Boeng Tamok lake, on October 20, 2020. (Michael Dickison/VOD)

More Boeng Tamok Plots Go to Interior Ministry, Military Official’s Wife

A big piece of a so far untouched area in the middle of Boeng Tamok lake has been granted to the Interior Ministry, while businesswoman Say Sorphea — understood to be the wife of a high-ranking Brigade 70 military official — has received a further two plots on the lake.

Environmental activist Chhorn Phalla speaks at a press conference in 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Ratanakiri Police Arrest Land Activist

Environmentalist Chhorn Phalla has been arrested by Ratanakiri police after they called him in to update the address on his identification card, his lawyer said.

Chhorn Chanvireak, who goes by Kru Athan, in a photo posted to his Facebook page.

Ancient Martial Art Sprouts Green Shoots Among New and Old

A l’bokator master’s wife is compiling her late husband’s writings into a book; pagodas are opening their gates to Cambodia’s ancient, spirituality-infused martial art; and officials are looking for world-heritage status and pushing a modernized version as an Olympic sport.

Hun Sen Warns Analysts Who Criticize the Government

Prime Minister Hun Sen has warned two political analysts over criticizing the government’s foreign policy, one by name and the other by saying there was already a warrant out for his arrest.

Sandfilling and sandbars overlook the Gulf of Thailand at the IGB (Cambodia) sandfilling site in Kampot's Toek Chhou district on August 26, 2021. (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Kampot, Kep Coasts Cluttered With Sandfilling Plans, Developments

Between official documents, residents’ accounts and visible evidence of filling, reporters have found five seafilling projects on the Kampot coast — some of them spanning hundreds of hectares. Affected fishers have been told there could be twice as many in all.

Residents, some wearing masks, stand with protest signs in a Svay Rieng rice field, in a photo posted to Yous Sophorn's Facebook page on August 4, 2021.

Land Activists Get Out of Jail After Accepting 900 Riel Per Square Meter

En Soth and Yous Sophorn were jailed last month under Covid-19 charges of obstructing the enforcement of health measures and face up to three years in jail. They were both previously fined around $1,000 each under Covid-19 regulations for organizing a protest against the proposed compensation.

Long-Time Land Activists Questioned for Attempted Murder

Four land activists in a long-running dispute with the Energy Minister’s wife say they were questioned by prosecutors at the Kampong Chhnang Provincial Court for attempted murder after trying to prevent illegal fishing in the area.

People stand in front of the Gold FX office in Toul Kork district urging the company to return investments that the business claims were stolen. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Hun Sen Chimes in on CPP Family-Linked GoldFX Controversy

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday waded into the ongoing dispute between investors and investment firm GoldFX — which is linked to senior CPP officials’ family members — asking investors to continue their negotiations or file a lawsuit. 

Seven NagaWorld union representatives hold posters in front of the Labor Ministry gate after submitting a petition contesting the company's mass layoffs on June 8, 2021. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Arbitration Council Avoids Ruling on NagaWorld Mass Layoffs

A NagaWorld union representative said the Arbitration Council refused to adjudicate on the validity of the mega casino’s decision to layoff more than 1,300 workers, with a labor advocate saying the council wants a labor inspection procedure to decide the matter.

Police Officer Sent to Court After Striking Escaping Motorist on Head

Ngorn Srey Nich was struck in the head by police officer Mat Pisey on Wednesday night while riding a motorbike with her brother without wearing helmets. Phnom Penh Municipal Police said Pisey was arrested and sent to court, but Srey Nich demanded more justice.

Students at Phnom Penh’s Chea Sim Boeng Keng Kang High School on November 9, 2020. (Tran Techseng/VOD)

Phnom Penh to Reopen Secondary Schools on September 15

Phnom Penh City Hall announced Thursday it will allow public and private secondary schools to reopen starting Wednesday, September 15, potentially ending nearly 18 months of on-and-off schooling for the capital’s students.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on August 18, 2021 (Danielle Keeton-Olsen/VOD)

Seven CNRP Members Convicted for Covid-19 Posts From March 2020

A Phnom Penh court has convicted and sentenced seven former opposition activists in absentia for Facebook posts accusing Prime Minister Hun Sen of hiding Covid-19 deaths in 2020 and other posts about his time as a former Khmer Rouge district commander.