Reach Sambath

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The Independent Online

Reach Sambath, who died on 3 May from a stroke aged 47, was a Khmer Rouge genocide survivor who went from street vendor to AFP correspondent and spokesman of Cambodia's war crimes court. He covered pivotal moments in Cambodia's recent history, including Pol Pot's death, the first post-regime election and the Khmer Rouge's final days.

As a child he was forcibly moved from his home in eastern Cambodia; when the regime fell he walked hundreds of miles home and later sold ice on street corners. He joined AFP in 1991, braving dangerous conditions; he went on to teach journalism, and became a spokesman for the UN-backed war crimes court. He lost many family members, including his parents, to the Khmer Rouge. "He embodied the resurrection of his country," said Philippe Agret, a former colleague.