One of Cambodia's major English-language newspapers will close this week because it is unable to pay what the government says it owes in back taxes.
In a statement, The Cambodia Daily says "as a result of extra-legal threats by the government," the paper will stop publication on Monday, September 4.
That's the deadline the government gave the paper when it slapped it with a $6.3 million tax bill last month, accusing it of failing to pay that amount in taxes over the past decade.
The fine came as a result of an investigation Prime Minister Hun Sen called for into private companies operating in Cambodia.
The Daily has been operating legally in the country since its founding in 1993 by American journalist, Bernard Krisher.
Jodie DeJonge, the editor-in-chief, told NPR that they couldn't pay the enormous tax bill and that they'd asked for a formal audit, but never received one. Both the paper and the publisher argue that this really has nothing to do with taxes and more to do with Hun Sen trying to curb dissent ahead of the general elections next year.
Journalists and media watchers across the region, some of them alums of the paper, reacted to the closing with heartfelt messages, according to media reports.
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