Editors compelled out after newspaper bought

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The developments inside the newsroom were reported by several remaining staff members in near-real time on Twitter.

Dozens of staffers at the newspaper issued their own statement on Monday in protest: "We. condemn our new owner's demands to take down today's front page article", they wrote.

Bill Clough, the former owner and publisher of the Phnom Penh Post, said in a video published a year ago that he wanted to maintain the paper's independence. The value of the sale has not been announced. It pointed out additional connections, some indirect, which he is alleged to have with Cambodian ruling circles.

Mr Sivakumar had pledged on Saturday to maintain the 26-year-old newspaper's editorial independence but apparently objected to an article by the Post's own journalists that claimed that his public relations firm, Asia PR, listed past clients as Hun Sen, the current prime minister.

Editor Kay Kimsong said he was sacked for signing off on a piece exploring the implications of the sale.

"I have done nothing wrong".

"We got to a point with our new editor-in-chief, to me at least, where it seemed like there was an irreconcilable difference when it came to editorial independence", said Ms Erin Handley, one of the reporters to resign on Tuesday. Latest victim of him is the last independent newspaper, The Phnom Penh Post, which has been purchased by a business associate of the dictator. Published fortnightly, it established a high standard of Western-style journalism and employed many early-career Westerners as reporters and editors.

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Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said the deal was a "disaster for media freedom", telling Reuters that "the only plausible rationale for this acquisition is to blunt the Post's critical coverage of the government".

Supporters of Kem Sokha, former opposition leader and ex-president of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), hold up a poster near the Appeal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia Thomson Reuters PHNOM PENH (Reuters) - Cambodia's Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea for bail by detained opposition leader Kem Sokha, following his arrest a year ago on charges of seeking to overthrow the government.

In the statement, Clough said that although the past 10 years had been a wonderful experience, recent times had been a challenge as the worldwide decline in newspapers' advertising market share was also felt in Cambodia.

The daily Cambodia paper was this week sold to Sivakumar Ganapathy, a Malaysian investor and executive at public relations firm, Asia PR. This buyer proclaims himself as a "journalist" by training, though his name is totally unknown and non-existent in Malaysia, Cambodia or elsewhere.

"After being ordered to remove my story regarding the sale of the Phnom Penh Post from the website by new management, I refused and offered my resignation, which was accepted", Brendan O'Byrne, the newspaper's former business editor, said on Twitter.

"I am devastated at the prospect of not being able to work every day with some of best journalists I know".

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