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Cambodian journalists arrested while covering peaceful protest by environmental activists

This statement was released by CCIM on 2 September 2015.

The unexplained detention and interrogation of Koh Kong journalist Lin Kin Sar of the Khmer Post Radio and a local citizen journalist on 2 September 2015 prompts concerns over the deteriorating condition for press freedom in Cambodia. The Cambodian Center for Independent Media calls for the journalists' immediate release and demands that Koh Kong police officials provide a thorough explanation for their detention and for that of the other 16 individuals arrested during peaceful protests with the Mother Nature organization in Koh Kong.

"The female journalist was arrested simply for reporting the news, and she has now been detained for almost seven hours. This is unacceptable and contributes to a pattern of ongoing intimidation of journalists by police and security forces," said CCIM Executive Director Pa Nguon Teang. "The Koh Kong police must release them immediately and take urgent steps to ensure that the right to freedom of the press is not further impinged."

Kin Sar and the unidentified media operator, or citizen journalist, from the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) were arrested around 10 a.m. today [2 September] as they covered a peaceful protest by Mother Nature environmental activists in front of Koh Kong Provincial court. Provincial authorities have yet to release the pair at the time of this release. At the time of her arrest, Kin Sar says she was attempting to photograph the protestors.

"I was trying to take photos of people protesting in front of the provincial court. Then, police caught some of the protestors. The police asked me to get in the car with the protestors, saying they wanted to ask me for some information," Kin Sar said.

Kin Sar told CCIM she was then transported to the provincial police commissioner for interrogation and, as of 4:45 p.m., has not yet been allowed to leave.

CCIM calls on local authorities in Koh Kong, the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Information to take firm actions to protect the rights to press freedom and access to information in Koh Kong and nationally.

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