Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Authorities halt R’kiri thumbprint collection

Authorities halt R’kiri thumbprint collection

Authorities halt R’kiri thumbprint collection

Opposition supporters in Ratanakkiri yesterday said that local authorities aligned with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party have actively obstructed their efforts to circulate petitions ahead of Wednesday’s planned rally in Freedom Park.

After collecting more than 100 thumbprints, local government and police officials in Bakeo district invited Kvas Sang, a member of the district’s Keh Chung commune council, to a sit-down at the commune hall, he told the Post yesterday.

They asked why he was collecting thumbprints and for the names of those who had signed the petition, he said.

“I replied that it was nothing; we support [the Cambodia National Rescue Party], so they thumbprinted documents to support the CNRP,” Sang said.

Heng Bun Thang, Bakeo district governor, yesterday confirmed Sang’s account, saying that higher-level officials had ordered their provincial counterparts to halt the collection of thumbprints.

“We do not allow them to do this, because it is a way of provoking villagers. It affects security,” Bun Thang said before hanging up the phone.

Facing similar questioning from local authorities, Rocham Choung, second deputy commune chief in Kak commune, said police officers stopped by his home to tell him to cease his petitioning, which had yielded more than 200 thumbprints, he said.

Police staked out his home to see if he left to collect more thumbprints, he added.

“I think that the authorities from the Cambodian People’s Party do not want us to support the CNRP and believe it is right to abuse villagers and the supporters of CNRP,” Choung said.

Kak commune chief Leuy Touch could not be reached for comment yesterday.

CPP efforts to thwart such opposition activities was no surprise, Cambodian Center for Human Rights president Ou Virak said yesterday, adding that such actions reveal the level of sincerity behind recent talk of reforms.

“This is an in-your-face reality, [that] those reforms are either going to take time, or the CPP isn’t really going to let those reforms happen,” Virak said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SEAN TEEHAN

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