Online journalist sued by private company for damaging reputation


On February 28, 2024, editor-in-chief of Penh Chet Media was sued by a private company in Takeo province for reporting on a suspicion of the company’s illegal operation.
The editor-in-chief told CamboJA on February 29, 2024, that the complaint was made on the day of the news report. He said before the complaint was made, he was asked by other online journalists to remove the article in exchange for money, but he refused.
A hand-written complaint filed with the Bati district police, seen by CamboJA, revealed that a man, known as Ker Monydeth, who identified himself as the factory’s security chief, said on February 27, 2024, a group of four journalists went to the factory, LKZ Hua Sheng Tian (Cambodia) Tobacco Ltd, and asked him for information about the business.
In the complaint, Monydeth said he read the news about the company published in Penh Chet Media on February 28, 2024, which he claimed had damaged the company’s reputation.
Recounting his experience, the editor-in-chief said on February 25, 2024, he received information from a source close to the issue that the factory was suspected of producing counterfeit cigarettes and packing them into boxes with Chinese wordings for export.
On February 27, he visited the factory located in Kandoeng Thum village, Kandoeng commune, Bati district to investigate. At the location, he met the man (Ker Monydeth), who told him that the company was operating legally.
The journalist realized that he did not have enough evidence but because he received the information from a trusted source, he decided to publish the story as he wanted relevant authorities to investigate.
The article, seen by CamboJA before it was removed, noted that the location of the factory was strictly guarded and did not allow the journalist to take photo.
On 29 February 2024, the Bati district administration released a statement, claiming that the report was baseless and had seriously impacted the authority’s reputation as well as the company’s. The administration said the company is legally registered and has a certificate issued by them on October 13, 2021.
However, the article was later deleted upon request by the provincial Department of Industry, Mines and Energy. The department had made the request with Penh Chet Media publisher.
He said the issue ended after he removed the story.

Number of attacked persons or entities related to media
Do they work as freelance or media?
Position in media
Status of journalists
Full name or name of group
The name of perpetrator (individual/group)
Ker Monydeth
Attack mention about gender background/sexual wording?
Date of incident
Type of incident
Criminal lawsuit/charge: Other charge
Please type the data source here (text)
CamboJA interviewed with Sin Kvancha