The Cambodian government is said to have gone on the offensive. It's speaking out against a lauded organization for an award given to a controversial documentary about the 2004 assassination of a Cambodian union leader.

In a recent article published in The Cambodia Daily, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan is quoted as saying that the Peabody Awards are likely a "politically motivated" institution and that the documentary is "a campaign against the government ... it's more like propaganda."

Shortly after its premier at the 2010 Cannes Independent Film Festival, "Who Killed Chea Vichea?" was banned in Cambodia. The controversial documentary about the assassination of a Cambodian union leader was broadcast locally on WHYY last May.

 

It’s since been recognized by Amnesty International, screened at the National Press Club, and most recently given a Peabody, which is widely recognized as the world's top honor for electronic media.

Peter Crimmins reported on the award-winning documentary in an article posted on NewsWorks.org on Friday.

 

In his article, Peter Crimmins explains.

 

“Chea Vichea was an internationally recognized labor activist who organized hundreds of thousands of garment workers in Cambodian sweatshops,” writes Crimmins. “The two men arrested for his killing were widely seen as innocent scapegoats. After the documentary was made, they were released from prison but still officially regarded as guilty.”