Cambodia's tax agency denies crackdown is political

Cambodian tax authorities have denied there is a political motive for a crackdown on delinquent taxpayers that prominently targets media and civil society organizations critical of the government.

The Department of Taxation says the motive for seeking the tax payments is to support the national budget, and it is only an effort to make such organizations comply with the law.

Those singled out by the tax collectors include a long-established English-language newspaper, The Cambodia Daily, two U.S. government-funded radio stations, the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, and local human rights groups.

The crackdown came to public notice shortly after Prime Minister Hun Sen at his Aug. 4 Cabinet meeting recommended government agencies investigate alleged unpaid payroll taxes at civil society organizations.