A journalist for the Nokor Post newspaper was detained and educated on Monday in Siem Reap province’s Svay Leu district after locals complained that he extorted money from villagers transporting farm wood, police said yesterday.
A Svay Leu district police officer said the journalist was arrested after accusations of extortion were levelled against him and that he was taken to the district police station for education.
“He was brought to the district police office and after his questioning, he was educated not to do it again and allowed to go home,” he said.
The officer declined to comment further, as did his police chief, Sun Eng.
The journalist was identified as Hov Sihakrith, 35, who was working for the Nokor Post newspaper based in Siem Reap.
Chan Sopheap, the editor-in-chief of the paper, denied the allegations levelled against his reporter and said that police detained him because he was exposing the truth about illegal logging.
“In most cases in Siem Reap province, the police or military police use extortion as a pretext against journalists who document timber transport,” he said.
“I received the information last night. My reporter had actually phoned the police to inform them of timber transport. It turned out that the police did not stop the timber traders, but arrested my journalist instead.”