Deputy disavows apology
THE Cambodia Daily’s deputy publisher, Deborah Krisher-Steele, has disavowed a “grovelling” apology letter she signed “under duress”, saying she feared her husband was within hours of arrest if she did not.
At a Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan event on Tuesday, Kr i s her- St e e l e revealed the motivations behind the conciliator y tone of the September 9 letter, which expressed regret that observers had suggested her newspaper’s closure on September 4 was linked to political suppression of press freedom and asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to find a “win-win” solution.
“On the day the Cambodian government seized our bank accounts … I get this frantic message from my assistant saying [my husband] Doug is going to be arrested and you have to sign this letter in two hours, and it was all in Khmer,” she said. “I have no idea what it says, and I’m really scared that my husband’s going to be arrested. And apparently it’s this grovelling letter apologising for everything I said. So I signed it. I will just have to disavow it . . . Under duress, I signed it.”
In an email yesterday, she said her assistant had received the warning call from Soy Sopheap, the publisher of Deum Ampil newspaper and a frequent government interlocutor. Krisher-Steele claimed the CONTINUED
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