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Court to Summon Two Reporters for Questioning Over Election Coverage


A photo shared on Twitter on May 23, 2017 shows Cambodia's information minister Khieu Kanharith posting on Facebook a full image of the passport of a foreign journalist of the Cambodia Daily. (Screenshot from Twitter)

Two reporters of the Cambodia Daily were reporting from Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district last month when the alleged violations are claimed to have taken place.

A provincial court is planning to summon two reporters from the local Cambodia Daily newspaper for questioning over alleged violations of the election law.

The reporters, Canadian Zsombor Peter and Cambodian Aun Pheap, were reporting from Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district last month when the alleged violations are claimed to have taken place.

The duo were accused by an opposition commune chief of “incitement and threatening” local residents because they had asked them about their past voting habits.

A complaint was filed by the Pate commune chief and a group of local residents on May 22 and was reportedly reviewed by the provincial election committee before being sent back to the court.

Chea Pich, provincial prosecutor, said that Pheap and Peter would be summoned to appear in court after the commune elections were concluded. Voting in the elections ended on Sunday afternoon.

He declined to comment on the substance of the court’s line of questioning.

Hak Houn, deputy prosecutor, had previously said that the court had not found enough evidence to bring charges against the reporters and Pen Chhundy, president of the provincial election body, said he had never received the complaint for review, raising the possibility of political interference.

Pheap told VOA Khmer that his employer had retained a lawyer to defend the reporters, but declined to comment on whether he would attend the hearing.

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