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Fear for Safety Remains: Journalists


Dam Sith, the editor of the opposition newspaper Moneaksekar Khmer who was jailed for a week in June and was the boss of slain journalist Khim Sambor, fully supports the FBI's offer to aid police in solving the murder.

Speaking by phone for fear of leaving his house, Dam Sith said Thursday on "Hello VOA" he regretted that Cambodia had not yet taken the FBI up on an offer to aid the investigation of the murder of Khim Sambor, who was shot dead with his son July 11 on a Phnom Penh street.

"I strongly support the FBI to help investigate, but it's a regret that the government refuses to grant their participation," Dam Sith said.

No suspect has been arrested in the murder, but the killing, two weeks from a national election, has meant a chilling effect on opposition journalists.

"We do not dare to cover news in public, because we're concerned about our safety," Dam Sith said.

At least 12 journalists have been killed in Cambodia since 1994, but no killers have been brought to trial.

Sam Rithy Duong Hak, vice president of the Cambodian Association of Professional Journalists, echoed Dam Sith's support for FBI assistance.

"There is more fear now," he said.

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