>SEAPA greatly concerned by latest death threat to Cambodian journalist

> Lem Pichpisey’s reports on corruption and illegal logging has landed him in troubles.

7 May 2008
Source: Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), Bangkok
The following is a 7 May 2008 SEAPA media statement:
7 May 2008, Bangkok — The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) is disturbed that a Cambodian journalist has received a death threat in the form of five live bullets which followed a series of threatening phone calls and text messages.
Radio Free Asia journalist Lem Pichpisey, his wife and their six children have been forced to go into hiding after the journalist’s daughter found the bullets placed in front of their house in Battambang province recently.
SEAPA urges the Cambodian authorities to provide the journalist and his family immediate protection and investigate the threat which must be viewed as a serious attack on press freedom. The right to press freedom is guaranteed by Article 41 of the country’s Constitution, which the government is also obliged to fulfill in adherence to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which it ratified in 1992.
SEAPA notes with concern that there is still a pattern of journalists and human rights activists being threatened with death for providing information on sensitive issues, especially on land grabbing and illegal logging. Such threats against free expression, if left unaddressed by the authorities, will embolden more anonymous attackers and inhibit journalists and human rights activists from exposing wrongdoing.
Lem Pichpisey, better known by his on-air pseudonym Lem Piseth, himself has been threatened many times for his reporting. He briefly went into hiding after receiving a death threat over his reports on illegal logging in Kompong Thom province on 16 June 2007, and again after authorities seized the inaugural issue of a magazine he had headed, “Free Press Magazine”, on 2 November 2007.
For queries about this statement, please email Mr. Roby Alampay or Ms. Chuah Siew Eng at seapa@seapabkk.org.
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ABOUT SEAPA
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) is a coalition of press freedom advocacy groups from Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Established in November 1998, the network aims to unite independent journalists and press-related organisations in the region into a force for the protection and promotion of press freedom and free expression in Southeast Asia. SEAPA is composed of the Alliance of Independent Journalists (Indonesia), the Jakarta-based Institute for the Study of the Free Flow of Information (ISAI), the Manila-based Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and the Thai Journalists Association.
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