Two Cambodian reporters working for Voice of Democracy were briefly detained by local authorities in Banteay Meanchey province’s border checkpoint on Saturday while covering Sam Rainsy’s planned return to the Kingdom, according to a journalist association.
According to Cambodian Journalists Alliance’s statement released today, Vann Vichar and Chun Chanren were detained and questioned more than three hours on Saturday by military police officers in Poipet city.
“CamboJA regrets and is concerned that Poipet city military police in Banteay Meanchey province detained and questioned two journalists for more than three hours on Saturday while covering news at Poipet International Checkpoint related to Sam Rainsy’s planned return,” the statement said.
Mr Vichar said that he and Mr Chanren were detained briefly because the security was tightened.
“The military police officers told me that it was because of strengthened security amid political tension,” Mr Vichar said.
He said that the military police checked all his and his colleague’s cameras, telephones and computers before being released.
Major Nuon Ninaro, Poipet city military police commander, said that his officers just invited the two reporters for questioning because they were suspected of being involved with a group of Rainsy’s supporters.
“We just called them for questioning and then allowed them to go back,” Maj Ninaro said.
CamboJA said that the government and local authorities should guarantee reporting freedom of journalists working in the Kingdom.