Khem Sambo

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

A journalist with the opposition-aligned Khmer-language
daily Moneaseka Khmer,
Sambo was shot twice while riding his motorcycle with his 21-year-old
son, according to international and local news reports. His son was
also shot and killed. The gunmen, who were
on a motorcycle, sped away after the shooting, news reports said.

Moneaseka Khmer is
affiliated with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, and Sambo was among the
publication’s most hard-hitting reporters. An analysis of Sambo’s reporting in
the weeks before his murder, compiled by the Cambodian League for the Defense
and Promotion of Human Rights and reviewed by CPJ, found a steady stream of
critical reporting on Hun Sen and his ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Sambo’s most recent reports, written under the pseudonyms
Srey Ka or Den Sorin, touched on allegations of government corruption, internal
rifts inside the ruling party, and questions about the distribution of benefits
from recent rapid Chinese investment in the country. Moneaseka Khmer is one of only a handful of consistently
critical publications in Cambodia;
the broadcast media all report unswervingly in the ruling party’s favor.

Cambodian police officials said they had not identified a
motive or suspects in the murder, which occurred during the run-up to general
elections on July 27.