A journalist working for a pro-opposition Cambodian newspaper and his son were killed in a drive-by shooting in the capital, police said yesterday.
Khem Sambo, 47, reported on corruption and other social ills under the rule of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen for the anti-government newspaper Moneaseka Khmer.
He was riding a motorcycle with his 21-year-old son on Friday when they were each shot twice by a man who was also riding a motorcycle, Phnom Penh Police Chief Yim Simony said. They died later in a hospital.
“At this stage we do not have any leads yet about the motive. We are collecting evidence and witnesses who could help us in searching for the attackers,” Yim Simony said.
Moneaseka Khmer editor Dam Sith called the attack “the gravest threat” to his newspaper, which is affiliated with Cambodia’s main opposition Sam Rainsy Party.
Cambodian authorities have not arrested those responsible for the killing of journalists in the past, said Oum Sarin, president of the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists.
“We strongly condemn the killing and urge authorities to find the culprits and punish them,” he said.
Khem Sambo’s killing was the first of a Cambodian journalist this year, Oum Sarin said, adding that the incident is “creating a climate of fear” among journalists.
The killing was a “vicious” act that seriously threatens freedom of the press ahead of July 27 national elections, the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee said in a statement.
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