Three online journalists detained for questioning while reporting on a land dispute


On February 17, 2024, three online reporters from San Prum news were detained for questioning by Stueng Hav district police for 10 hours after they conducted an interview with families relating to a land dispute.
The incident happened after the journalists travelled to Preah Sihanouk province to cover news on a land dispute.
One of the journalists told CamboJA by phone on February 20, 2024 that his team had received information from people in Stueng Hav district about a protest regarding a land dispute.
On February 17, 2024, his team visited the place and interviewed the affected people. According to the journalist, people asked him to do a live report on Facebook, but he refused, saying that he will collect information first before publishing.
After 10 minutes of interviewing the people, several officers arrived at the place and blocked the road. The journalists, who were at the site, approached the authorities and asked for clarification regarding the protest but the police refused to answer and asked them to go to the police station to get information. The journalists went to the police station but were detained for questioning instead.
One of the harassed journalists told CamboJA that they were detained for questioning from 10:30am till 8pm.
During the detention, police forced them to have their mugshots taken and place their thumbprint on a document prepared by police while threatening them not to publish the report, or risk facing legal action. The journalists were told by the police that they were abusing the territory of the local authorities.
Police said the journalists from Phnom Penh have no right to cover news in the province.
A day after, their mugshots were disseminated over Telegram channel and Facebook.
The journalists said the public dissemination of their mugshots by Stueng Hav district police violated their rights and harmed their dignity as they did not commit any crime.

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Preah Sihanouk
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Law/regulation that affecting press freedom
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CamboJA interviewed with Huy Oudom