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Monk Khoeum Sam Oeun (centre) attends Kem Ley's funeral earlier this month at Wat Chas pagoda in Phnom Penh. SBN
Monk Khoeum Sam Oeun (centre) attends Kem Ley's funeral earlier this month at Wat Chas pagoda in Phnom Penh. SBN

Battambang monk in hiding following arrest threat

A former head of the Phnom Khpos pagoda in Battambang’s Banan district, 36-year-old Khoeum Sam Oeun, went into hiding with relatives Tuesday night, after being warned he would be arrested on unspecified charges.

Sam Oeun, a member of Monks Network for Social Justice, told the Post yesterday that after the 2013 election, he became active in social causes, leading authorities to accuse him of working for the CNRP.

“They accused me of having a girl, destroying the pagoda school and more. But all was not true,” said Sam Oeun, who paid tribute last week to slain government critic Kem Ley. “Three days ago, the district chief announced I have to leave the pagoda, or they will arrest me and send me to court.”

Banan district police chief Pann Vanny confirmed that district chief Chum Nhar stated in a public forum earlier this week that Sam Oeun’s case had reached the court.

Court spokesperson Tock Sopheakday, however, said he had not seen the case file.

Nhar could not be reached for comment.

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