Opposition editor Dam Sith vowed on Monday to continue
critical coverage of the government following his release on bail Sunday, with
defamation and disinformation charges still pending.
Dam Sith, who is the defendant in a suit led by Foreign
Minister Hor Namhong, was jailed for a week and became the center of debate
over media freedom and pre-election intimidation.
The editor said Monday his stance was the same and his
newspaper was publishing as it did before, criticizing the government on
corruption issues and standing for the opposition party.
Dam Sith was released following an official request from
Prime Minister Hun Sen delivered to Phnom Penh Municipal Court Judge Chhay Kong
In an interview with VOA Khmer Monday, Dam Sith said he was
thankful to Hun Sen, but he said, "My newspaper will never change. We will
always publish criticism of the government."
The newspaper, Moneaksekar Khmer, was established Aug. 4,
1994, and has continuously supported the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, Dam Sith said.
The black-and-white paper is a daily publication of four
pages, one broadsheet folded in half.
The arrest of Dam Sith was part of a long line of
intimidation and threats, said Sam Rainsy Party Secretary-General Eng Chhay
Opposition journalists always receive threats, he said, and
over the years at least one has been killed.
Nun Chan, editor-in-chief of the opposition paper Serei
Pheap Thmei, or New Freedom, was shot dead in 1995.