The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom today deplored the killing of Cambodian journalist Suon Chan and called for those responsible for the killing to be brought to justice.
“I am appalled by the brutal killing of Suon Chan,” Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a news release.
“Society as a whole suffers when violence is used to silence journalists in the line of duty. The perpetrators of this crime should be brought to justice to strengthen freedom of expression and press freedom in Cambodia.”
A group of men wielding stones and bamboo sticks attacked Mr. Chan, 44, near his home in Cholkiri, Kampong Chhnang province, on the evening of 31 January. Two people who came to help him were also injured. The three were taken to a local hospital but Mr. Chan, who was particularly badly injured, died during his transfer to a hospital in the capital, Phnom Penh.
The attack is widely reported to have been carried out in retaliation for his work for the Maekea Kampuchea newspaper on illegal fishing in the province, according to UNESCO.