A group of 20 journalists yesterday accused a timber trader linked to the Uni-Green Company in Mondulkiri province of threatening their lives when they were researching forest crime stories.
Snadai Vireak Boros Khmer Newspaper director Hor Kimhak said he was representing 20 journalists from various media outlets in the province, each of whom claimed to have been threatened with death while researching their stories in Koh Nhek district’s Sre Sangkum commune, near the Uni-Green timber warehouse of tycoon Tob Vida.
“Journalists stood in front of the warehouse and took pictures outside the Uni-Green Company, where there were trucks loading timber,” he said. “After that, company workers threatened to shoot the group of journalists and then there was the sound of seven gunshots from the warehouse.”
Phang Rothmony, director of Kompuchea Rongroueng newspaper who was present for the incident, said a man named Phanna threatened to shoot and run over the journalists.
“Ten minutes after firing the weapon, a vehicle drove very fast to hit and kill the journalists,” he said. “Seeing this, journalists ran away to escape.”
After the incident, the 20 journalists filed a complaint to the military police in Koh Nhek district to investigate the incident.
District military police officer Meas Pov said he had received the complaint but could not yet make any comment.
District military police commander Ros Panha said the death threat claims were untrue and said the sound of guns being fired was merely children playing with fireworks.