101 East

Cambodia’s Election Crackdown

A look at alleged corruption by Cambodia’s elite as the ruling party cracks down on critics leading up to elections.

In late July, Cambodians will go to the polls for what critics say is a sham election.

Having dissolved the main opposition party and closed down media outlets critical of the government, the world’s longest-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen stands accused of using violence and intimidation to silence dissent.

The crackdown has extended to those who dared to critically report on the country’s politics. Newspapers have been forced to close after they were issued massive tax bills. Cambodia’s head of taxation, Vibol Kong, denies accusations that the tax bills were designed to silence critical reporting.

Vibol Kong, a member of the ruling party’s elite central committee, insists that the media organisations were trying to avoid paying tax.

But 101 East‘s analysis of company records in both Cambodia and Australia shows that Vibol Kong himself has questions to answer.

The documentary also puts the spotlight on alleged criminal activities carried out by other members of Cambodia’s ruling elite in Australia.

As human rights activists warn that Cambodia is teetering on the edge of total dictatorship, this exclusive 101 East investigation into alleged corruption among the country’s ruling elite comes at a critical time in the country’s history.

READ: Threats, tax bills and Gucci shopping bags: Behind the scenes of Cambodia’s election crackdown