Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activist questioned over defamation allegations

Activist questioned over defamation allegations

Land rights activist Kuch Veng speaks to two monks after being questioned at the Pursat Provincial Court yesterday. Photo supplied
Land rights activist Kuch Veng speaks to two monks after being questioned at the Pursat Provincial Court yesterday. Photo supplied

Activist questioned over defamation allegations

Almost 150 villagers gathered outside the Pursat Provincial Court yesterday as an activist was questioned over allegations of defamation, incitement to commit a felony and discrediting court decisions.

Land rights activist Kuch Veng, 52, from Krakor district, was questioned by the court for two hours while villagers from five communes, fearing his detention, protested until he was allowed to leave.

After Veng spoke out in 2012 and 2013 against the eviction of 21 families to make way for a community forest on state-owned land on which they had been farming since 1983, and after he publicly criticised a five-year sentence handed down to one of the protesters in 2015, Sna Ansa commune chief Mouk Kor filed a lawsuit against him last August. Kuch and his supporters yesterday requested the court drop the suit.

“The information [we distribute] is to help the society, not to incite any crime. It is not an attack on anyone – it is to halt land-grabbing and natural resource destruction,” Veng said.

“I am sick. If the court detained me, it would be like killing me,” he added. Veng suffers from gallbladder and blood diseases that require him to take medicine daily.

Commune chief Kor declined to elaborate on the allegations.

“I already appeared for questioning after I sued him [Kuch Veng], so let the court do its job,” he said.

Long Cheab, a provincial spokesman, said the court was investigating the case and had not charged Veng yet.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all