Online journalist in Kratie sued for defamation after reporting on land dispute

Description

A publisher-cum-journalist of New network News has been sued for defamation by a man, known as a representative of a rubber company, following a report on a land dispute in Trapang Chhouk village, Khsuem commune, Snuol district, Kratie province.

According to a complaint filed by Prum Chanthea at a provincial court on January 24, 2024, the journalist was accused of publishing false information and asked to pay a compensation of up to $10,000 to the plaintiff.

New network News had two reports about the protest against land clearing on January 12 and 18, 2024, which were reported live on Facebook.

He told CamboJA on February 12, 2024, that in 2023, a group of land brokers came and forced villagers to sell their farmland, threatening them that after the national election, the farmland will be seized without compensation because they illegally occupied state land.

On January 18, 2024, he went live on Facebook to report on the activities of land clearing involving three hectares of cashew nut farmland which belonged to two families. At the time, he was informed by villagers that Prum Chanthea was behind the land clearing.

In an agreement letter dated January 23, 2024, obtained by CamboJA, Eastern Rubber (Cambodia) Co Ltd had agreed to pay compensation to the two families for the damage to the crop.

Adhoc coordinator in Kratie province told CamboJA that Prum Chanthea is a representative of Eastern Rubber (Cambodia) Co., Ltd.

He said Chanthea normally threatened the villagers to sell their land to the company, but people refuse, resulting in protests. He said three other villagers have been also sued by Prum Chanthea.

Information
Number of attacked persons or entities related to media
1
Do they work as freelance or media?
Yes
Position in media
Status of journalists
Gender
Male
Age
Country
Kratie
Full name or name of group
Identified
The name of perpetrator (individual/group)
Prum Chanthea
Gender
Attack mention about gender background/sexual wording?
No
Date of incident
Type of incident
Criminal lawsuit/charge: Defamation
Please type the data source here (text)
CamboJA interviewed with Chin Mao