Aun Pheap would almost certainly not have lived to become one of Cambodia’s most respected reporters had a cow he was tasked with looking after in 1977, during the murderous Khmer Rouge regime, gone in another direction.

“Angkar gave me a job to look after a pair of cows in Battambang province during the Pol Pot regime,” Pheap recalls. ‘Angkar’ is the term the Khmer Rouge used to refer to the leadership of its ultra-Communist armed political party.

“But one day, one of the cows went missing.”

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George Wright

George Wright was an associate editor at The Cambodia Daily for four years until it was shuttered amid a crackdown on independent media.