A village chief in Ratanakkiri province’s O’Yadav district remains in hiding following a death threat a border soldier allegedly issued after the chief refused to give away a plot of land, he said yesterday.
Lop village Chief Siv Phlin, 50, filed complaints with police and rights group Adhoc on Monday, asking for intervention, adding that he took the threat seriously enough to leave his home, where his six children live, and hide in the woods.
“[The soldier] tried to force me into providing land, but I am just a village chief,” Phlin said. “I don’t have that authority, and I am so worried for my safety and the safety of my family.”
The soldier had allegedly demanded Phlin sign over a state-owned plot of land that measured 500 by 200 metres. After Phlin declined, the soldier threatened him over the phone on Sunday, Chhay Thy, Adhoc provincial coordinator said.
“The solider said he will shoot him if he did not provide a wide plot to him,” Thy said. “Now he is so panicked, he has hidden in the wild. He’s afraid to stay at his house.”
After receiving the complaint, O’Yadav police chief Ma Vichet told the Post police are protecting Phlin and keeping an eye on the soldier in question.