Journalist killed while documenting transport of illegal wood

Journalist Tang Tri, 48, of local Vealntri newspaper in Kratie Province, Cambodia, was shot dead around 1 a.m. Sunday as he attempted to document the transportation of illegal luxury wood near Pum Ksem Kang Krow Village.

The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) and SEAPA condemn this murder in the strongest terms possible and call on local authorities to take immediate action to investigate the case and bring the murderers to justice in order to end the cycle of impunity for those who perpetuate violence against journalists in Cambodia.

“Mr. Tri’s murder is tragic and cannot go unpunished,” said CCIM Executive Director Pa Nguon Teang. “We must bring an end to impunity for those who commit violence against journalists, and we must do it now, starting with Mr. Tri.”

According to reports by a CCIM citizen journalist in the area, Mr. Tri was shot to death outside of his car on Tuol Punley hill in Pum Ksem Kang Krow village around 1 a.m. Sunday while he was trying to photograph vehicles transporting illegal luxury wood. A Lexus 470 without license plates was found overturned near Mr. Tri’s vehicle, and two occupants of the Lexus reportedly fled the scene. It is currently unclear what role the occupants of the Lexus may have played in Mr. Tri’s death.

Mr. Tri is the 13th journalist to be killed in the line of duty since Cambodia’s first democratic elections in 1993, and his death bears a disturbing resemblance to the 2012 murder in Ratanakiri province of Heng Serei Oudom, who was known for his reporting on illegal logging activities.

To date, no one has been convicted for the murder of Mr. Oudom or any of the other journalists killed in Cambodia over the last 11 years.

For more information, please contact:

Mr. Sor Sorthy, CCIM,  +855 (0)60 411 777, communications@ccimcambodia.org