Killing of a Journalist in Rattanakiri Province

On 11 September 2012, ADHOC’s office in Rattanakiri province received reliable information from Mr. Joun Phin Dara according to which a reporter working with the local newspaper Virakchun Khmer, Mr. Hang Serei Oddom, had disappeared.

ADHOC staff immediately started investigating and sought intervention with Mr. Em Vunn, head of Banlung police, to find out about the reporter’s whereabouts. At 12pm, the authorities located Hang Serei Oddom’s car at Savay Channty garden, Touy village, Ja Ong commune, Orchum district, about 3 kilometers away from town. Hang Serei Oddom was found dead in the trunk.

His wife, Mrs. Im Chanthy, said that on 9 September 2012, between 6 and 7pm, her husband went out as he received a phone call. She did not know who the person who called him was. As he did not return, she reported his disappearance to the authorities and his colleagues.

Hang Serei Oddom’s professional activities focused on writing about the crime of illegal luxury wood logging. He had involved rich, powerful people as well as officials in the province. On 6 and 8 September 2012, Virakchun Khmer exposed a case of corruption related to illegal logging. A Rattanakiri-based military police officer allegedly allowed traffickers to roam free in exchange for bribes.

After Hang Serei Oddom’s wife informed the authorities about his disappearance, the latter found some leads which could allow the arrest of the murderers. So far there have been no arrests. The victim’s family and his co-workers showed little hope about investigation and fear he and they will never get justice for his death.

 

For more information, please contact:

Ny Chakrya, Head of ADHOC’s Human Rights Monitoring Section: 011 274 959

Pen Bonnar, ADHOC’s Provincial Coordinator in Rattanakiri: 012 964 056

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