Journalist Says He Was Threatened After Covering Land Clearing Case

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CHR TV Online journalist Sous Chamroeun takes a selfie during coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic in a photo posted to CHR TV Online’s Facebook page.
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An online journalist says he received an anonymous call that he took to be a threat after reporting on land clearing in Siem Reap province.

Sous Chamroeun, head of CHR TV Online, claimed in a July 27 report that a local businessman had cleared hundreds of hectares of state-owned protected forest in Chi Kreng district’s Lveng Russei commune.

He said he received an anonymous call soon after telling him to remove the story and saying they would file a complaint against him. The caller said the land had been bought from citizens.

“They threatened me. First, he said that if you do not delete it, you will have a problem. Second, he said that he will file a complaint about this to the minister of information. He said that my name has not been properly registered as a journalist,” Chamroeun said.

Chamroeun said he had recorded the conversation, but declined to share it as he was waiting to see if there are further developments before filing a complaint to authorities.

A phone number for the businessman named in Chamroeun’s article, Kong Vun, who has a local electricity distribution business among his interests, was answered by a woman who would only say that she was an employee of the electricity firm.

Lveng Russei commune chief Loung Phorn said people had previously cleared land in the area before selling it to a company he could not remember, which then sold it to Vun.

Information Ministry spokesperson Meas Sophorn said he had not received information about the case.

(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)

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