Thursday, 24.5.2007: Keo Nimol Hides Himself after Hun Sen’s Threat

Posted on 25 May 2007. Filed under: Week 509 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 509

Radio Free Asia [RFA] reporter Mr. Keo Nimol has hidden himself after he was strongly threatened by Prime Minister Hun Sen last week about his question relating to the alliance between the Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] and Funcinpec. After Prime Minister Hun Sen’s strong threat against RFA and its reporter has hidden himself, the International Federation of Journalists issued a press release showing surprise about the threatening act of the Prime Minister who used the words ‘insolent’ and ‘rude’ towards the institution and towards the reporter, who just asked him a simple question as a journalist.

“The press release of the International Federation of Journalists issued on 21 May 2007 is entitled ‘Journalist Flees in Fear After Being Targeted for Abuse by Cambodian PM.’ The press release shows shock and outrage after the Cambodian Prime Minister publicly criticized a reporter of being insolent and rude for his question.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen pointed his finger straight at RFA reporter Mr. Keo Nimol’s face on Thursday 17 May, after Mr. Keo Nimol had asked him about the future of the alliance between the CPP and Funcinpec.

“Mr. Hun Sen shouted loudly that he was saying so for all the Cambodian radio and television stations to broadcast it, that not only the RFA is an insolent institution, but also that their reporter asked a question rudely. Hun Sen gesticulated with a pale face, pointing his finger straight at Mr. Keo Nimol’s face, in front of many journalists outside the National Assembly, after getting out from a session to remove Mr. Lay Prohas from the position of Minister of Tourism, from the Funcinpec quota, and replacing him by Mr. Thong Khon from the CPP quota.

“Mr. Christopher Warren, the President of the International Federation of Journalists, expressed his surprise at the Khmer Prime Minster, who confronted a journalist in a personal way, and with anger, after he had just asked a question.

“Mr. Warren said that it is not acceptable that the Prime Minister has so publicly shown such contempt and disrespect for a journalist and the role of the media in a democratic society. He went on by asking the Prime Minister to clarify publicly and to explain the Cambodian Government’s commitment to the democratic process and the role of the media in this process.

“Mr. Keo Nimol has hidden himself for fear for his safety. After the Prime Minister had angrily attacked and insulted Mr. Keo Nimol and RFA for being rude and insolent, different reports say that Mr. Hun Sen even asked another journalist for Mr. Nimol’s full name , his biography, and his political tendencies.

“Mr. Warren said that Prime Minster Hun Sen’s threat is like to use Mr. Keo Nimol as an example to threaten other journalists, before the process towards the 2008 National Elections starts.

“Mr. Warren said that the Prime Minister destroys the principles of democracy, by discrediting and silencing any journalist who asks him about his arrangements of organizing power. As the protector of freedom of expression and as a protector of journalists, so that they have safety in Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen must stop such acts of intimidation, or he will face the disapproval by the international community.

“The International Federation of Journalists has more that 500,000 members in more than 115 countries in the world.

“It is the first time in 2007 that Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly threatened journalists. Last year, besides arresting and imprisoning journalists and human rights activists, he also threatened to continue arresting many border activists and civil society organization officials to be jailed. Moreover, an anonymous person, who was suspected to be Mr. Hun Sen’s nephew, threatened the Sralanh Khmer publisher Mr. You Saravuth, by sending him a fax with a picture of scull and crossed bones. Mr. You Saravuth escaped abroad for already nearly one year, until he sought asylum in Norway on 23 March 2007.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #408, 24.5.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 24 May 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1347, 24.5.2007

  • 30 Important Government Officials [including Yuth Phouthang, Koh Kong Governor] Will Become Monks to Dedicate to Prayer [for seven days] in Koh Kong
  • Cambodia and Myanmar Agree on Direct Flights from Bagan to Siem Reap
  • Australian Warship Moors at Sihanoukville International Port
  • Much Illegal Fishing Exists in Tonle Sap Lake [Siem Reap]

Mohaboros Khmer, Vol.8, #81, 23.5.2007

  • People in Kompong Speu Ask Phnom Penh Municipal Court to Take Action on Their Complaint against QuestNet [an interactive marketing company based in Hong Kong – on accusation of deceiving them]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3166, 24.5.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy: Victims [of violence – singers and actresses] Never Receive Justice
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs Orders Suspension of Construction of Naga Casino Building [because the construction does not correspond to technical standards]
  • Kampuchea Krom Community Accuses Hanoi of Violating Rights of Buddhist Faithful
  • State Rubber Plantation Will Be Leased to Private Company; It Is Like to Sell It [Kompong Cham]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4292, 24.5.2007

  • Cambodian Government Official [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong] Hopes Myanmar Will Achieve Democratic Regime
  • Ministry of Interior Creates Department of Finance and Supplies

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3043, 24.5.2007

  • Yuon [Vietnam] Unsuccessful in Preventing Delegation of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community from Attending UN Conference
  • Legal Wife of Siem Reap Governor [Sou Phirin] Writes from Prison Demanding Justice [she is accused by Sou Phirin of taking $1.6 million from selling a house]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #408, 24.5.2007

  • Keo Nimol Hides Himself after Hun Sen’s Threat
  • Sam Rainsy Seeks Aid to Help 28 Communes and Subdistricts Governed by Sam Rainsy Party

Go to last week’s editorial

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