After VOD Shutdown, Hostility Against Reporters


The female VOD Khmer reporter who authored the article drawing the ire of Hun Manet and Hun Sen also faced misogynistic vitriol and sexual harassment on social media made by a government-aligned social media journlaist Pheng Vannak who owns a Facebook page called Pheng Vannak News.

A group of more than 40 civil society organizations including CamboJA issued a joint open letter and submitted it to the Minister of Information, Minister of Women’s Affairs, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, and the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, urging the ministries to take action against social media personality Pheng Vannak for verbally attacking a female reporter. But the Prime Minister appeared to downplay Vannak’s comments, rebuked those CSOs and warned of potential investigation into their funding sources.

“These NGOs were established only to oppose the government and not to do anything to protect women’s equality,” Hun Sen said on February 20. “When my sister [sister-in-law] died, she was insulted, my wife was insulted, my family was insulted, but you [NGOs] did not come out to defend, so next time don’t talk about double standards with me.”

Regarding the insults, Hun Sen was likely referring to statements made by exiled opposition figure Sam Rainsy, who mocked the death of the Prime Minister’s sister-in-law in early February.

“I am waiting to see if all civil society organizations are taking action to protect my family as well,” Hun Sen said, warning he could order investigations into the NGOs’ financing.

“If it is necessary to audit [the NGOs] to find out where the money came from, we have the right to do so and the Ministry of Interior or the Anti-Corruption Unit could investigate,” he added.

Number of attacked persons or entities related to media
Do they work as freelance or media?
Position in media
Status of journalists
Phnom Penh Capital
Full name or name of group
The name of perpetrator (individual/group)
Pheng Vannak
Attack mention about gender background/sexual wording?
Date of incident
Year of incident
Type of incident
Online Sexual harassment