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General threatens to shoot journalist, later says he was "only kidding"

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ condemns General's "kidding" death threat to journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has expressed its disgust at Cambodian authorities' flippant attitude to journalist safety, after a General said his threat to shoot a journalist was only a joke.

According to IFJ affiliate the Cambodian Association for the Protection of Journalists (CAPJ), General Pol Sinuon threatened to shoot Chim Chenda, a reporter for the newspaper Kampuchea Thmey, for addressing the General by name in Battambang on May 2.

General Sinuon reportedly later retracted the threat, saying he was "only kidding."

IFJ President Christopher Warren said the incident showed flagrant disregard for journalist safety.

"It is disgraceful that the general believes he can simply laugh off his violent threat to the life of Chenda," Warren said.

"Worse still is the fact that the government has not called for an investigation or public apology.

"Silence on this disturbing incident makes the Cambodian government complicit in the culture of violence against journalists and impunity for their attackers," he said.

The IFJ joins the CAPJ in demanding a full investigation into the case.

The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 115 countries.

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