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Opposition editor freed, pledges to continue fight for press freedom

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders welcomes the release of Hang Chakra, the editor of the Khmer opposition daily "Machas Srok", after ten months in prison on a charge of disinformation. He was freed under a royal pardon to mark the Khmer New Year.

"Deputy Prime Minister Sok An is directly to blame for Hang Chakra's long imprisonment and the deterioration in his health," Reporters Without Borders said. "We reiterate our request to Prime Minister Hun Sen to respect his promise to ensure that journalists will no longer be jailed in Cambodia."

Since his release from Prey Sar prison on 13 April 2010, Hang Chakra has been undergoing medical tests. His family says his problems with his lungs, eyes and bladder got worse after his arrest in June 2009. A Reporters Without Borders representative visited him in prison in December.

"It is incredible to be freed the day before the Khmer New Year and I am really happy to be reunited with my family," Hang Chakra said in a statement to the press. He announced that he planned to resume editing his newspaper very shortly.

In a message to Reporters Without Borders, he thanked all those in Cambodia and abroad who requested his release.
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