Media News - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
A Cambodian journalist who reported on rampant illegal logging in the country has been found murdered in the boot of his car, police said. Hang Serei Oudom, a reporter at local-language Vorakchun Khmer Daily, was discovered on Tuesday, said senior police officer Song Bunthanorm. The vehicle was abandoned in a cashew nut plantation in northern Ratanakiri province. "He wrote stories about forest crimes involving business people and powerful officials in the province," said Vorakchun Khmer Daily editor-in-chief Rin Ratanak. "Most of his stories were about illegal logging of luxury wood," he added. Rampant illegal logging contributed to a sharp drop in Cambodia's forest cover from 73 percent in 1990 to 57 percent in 2010, according to the United Nations. In late April, prominent environmentalist Chhut Vuthy was shot dead by a military policeman after he refused to hand over pictures showing logging in southwestern Koh Kong province. Following the outcry over Vuthy's death, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered a freeze on new land grants, a move cautiously welcomed by environmental groups, who nevertheless argue it will not save the forests already under threat. (AFP)
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