Safety of Journalists > Press Room > News > Six Handed Jail Term Sentences for Murder of Journalist in Cambodia

Asia Pacific

Six Handed Jail Term Sentences for Murder of Journalist in Cambodia

14 November 2014

Six people were sentenced in absentia by a court in Kampong Chhang Province, Cambodia, on Wednesday 12 November for the murder of Suan Chan. The 44-year-old reporter for the Khmer language Meakea Kampucheanewspaper was killed on 31 January when he left his house in Cholkiri district’s Peam Chhkork commune.

The journalist was set upon by a gang of fishermen who attacked him with stones and bamboo sticks. He received medical treatment in a provincial hospital but later died of his injuries after being transported to a Phnom Penh hospital. Prior to his death, Suon Chan had been reporting on illegal fishing in the local commune.

On October 7, the trial of Chan’s murderers began at Kampong Chang provincial court. Six attackers were charged with ‘attempted murder’ by the prosecution, in absentia, but did not face the court as they still remained at large.

Yesterday, the six killers were each sentenced to 13 years in jail and ordered to pay Suon’s family five million riel each (USD1,250) each. Thea Leng, who was arrested in October, is the only killer currently in police custody.