Accessibility links

Breaking News

Journalism Watchdog Condems Death Threat of RFA Reporter

France-based Reporters Without Borders condemned Tuesday threats to a Radio Free Asia reporter who went into hiding earlier this week after receiving a menacing phone call.

Lem Pichpisey was reporting on illegal logging recently uncovered by a scathing Global Witness report that links the crime to Prime Minister Hun Sen, his family and other high-ranking officials.

Lem Pichpisey told VOA Khmer Tuesday he still planned to report on illegal logging, despite an anonymous call that told him to "be careful" and not to be "nasty" in his reporting.

He is the second RFA reporter to go into hiding in as many months. In May RFA reporter Keo Nimol left the country after Prime Minister Hun Sen singled him out as "insolent" during a period of questioning by reporters.

Lem Pichpisey said he feared further repercussions, based on information he received from a source within the Cambodian People's Party.

"This morning I receive a telephone call from a friend working with the ruling party, working with a telephone company, in which a leader's voice was intercepted," Lem Pichpisey said. "He told me to be careful because he heard someone say, 'These [RFA] people are insolent. Wait and see, when the [donor] meeting is over, we will take care of them.'"

Hun Sen adviser Om Yentieng, who is also head of the government's Human Rights Committee, said Lem Pichpisey should file a complaint with authorities if he really received a threat.