Another Cambodian journalist has been gunned down while investigating illegal logging by state officials, reports Reporters Without Borders.
Taing Try, a freelance journalist who contributed to several newspapers, was killed Sunday in Kratie province after being shot in the forehead. Taing Try was 49.
Try had been investigating illegal logging with five other journalists late Saturday night when they were confronted by timber traffickers. Three men — Mondolkiri police chief Ben Hieng, military police officer Khim Pheakdey and Cambodia Royal Air Force member La Narong — were arrested shortly after the killing. Reporters Without Borders said the men admitted to the murder, and urged the Cambodian government to hold those responsible for the crime accountable.
“The fact that some of the people running this lucrative trafficking in timber hold senior positions must not afford them any kind of immunity,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk. “If the three detained suspects really were involved in this shocking murder, we hope they will be tried like anyone else.”
Taing Try’s murder comes two years after Hang Serei Oudom, another environmental journalist, was killed after investigating illegal logging. Earlier that year, environmentalist Chut Wutty was also shot and killed during an illegal logging investigation.
Reporters Without Borders says journalists are often targeted in the country.
“Freedom of information is increasingly restricted in Cambodia and journalists who cover illegal logging are often the targets of threats,” the group said in a statement. “Cambodia is ranked 144th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.”