Khem Sambo

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A journalist with the opposition-aligned Khmer-language daily Moneaseka Khmer, Khem 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.


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