Journalist killed in Cambodia over illegal logging

CMFR/Philippines – A journalist in the Kratie province of Cambodia was shot dead on 12 October 2014 while he was documenting illegal logging, according to the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA).

Kratie is approximately 190 kilometers north of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital.

According to a statement from CCIM and SEAPA, journalist Tang Tri was near Pum Ksem Kang Krow Village, at around 1 a.m., Sunday, attempting to photograph the illegal transportation of luxury wood when he was killed.

Tri wrote for the local newspaper Vealntri, CCIM and SEAPA said. He was also a member of the Khmer Journalists for Democracy Association, according to news reports.

The Cambodia Herald reported that Tri was in a vehicle driven by his friend, Sath Seth, according to the police. A timber trader negotiated with Tri but shot Tri dead when the negotiation failed. The gunman escaped in a luxury sports utility vehicle, the report said.

On 14 October, VOA News reported that three men, La Narong, Kem Pheakdey and Pin Heng, have been indicted for the murder.

CCIM and SEAPA condemned the killing and called on the authorities to bring the murderers to justice.

“We must bring an end to impunity for those who commit violence against journalists, and we must do it now, starting with Mr. Tri,” said CCIM Executive Director Pa Nguon Teang.

According to the CCIM and SEAPA, Tri is the 13th journalist killed in the line of duty in Cambodia since the country’s first democratic elections in 1993. To date, no one has been convicted in all 13 cases.