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Cambodia Daily to close in media crackdown

One of Cambodia’s main English-language newspapers, the Cambodia Daily, announced that it would close Monday after a dispute with the government over taxes.

“The power to tax is the power to destroy. And after 24 years and 15 days, the Cambodian government has destroyed the Cambodia Daily, a special and singular of part Cambodia’s free press,” the newspaper said in a statement Sunday.

The government last month billed the Daily for $6.4 million in taxes and was later told to pay the bill or “pack up and go.”

The closing comes during a wider government crackdown on the media, which rights watchdogs and commentators say is meant to solidify the position of Prime Minister Hun Sen, one of the longest-ruling leaders in the region, ahead of the 2018 parliamentary elections.

The Daily does not contest that there was a legitimate tax issue that required solving. However, it alleged the tax authorities did not follow due process.

The Daily’s editor in chief, Jodie DeJonge, said her staff had been too focused on reporting to “think about what may come next.”

Finance Ministry representatives were not available for comment.


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