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Court to question two in DARPO case

TWO residents of Preah Vihear province’s Choam Ksan district will appear for questioning at the provincial court today in connection with a case involving an NGO accused of human rights abuses, their lawyer said yesterday.

Long Lun said 50-year-old Khin Khon and her husband, 48-year-old Chib Rath, had travelled from Phnom Penh to Preah Vihear yesterday after receiving summonses from provincial court prosecutor Keo Sim last week.

“I will ask the court to find justice for my clients and demand that the real criminals be accused and arrested,” he said.

Both villagers were among a group of 10 representatives of families in Choam Ksan district who have called for an investigation into the Drugs and AIDS Research and Prevention Organisation, an NGO run by a one-star general who is also an adviser to Senate President Chea Sim.

DARPO was granted a 556-hectare social land concession in the district in 2007.

At a press conference in Phnom Penh on September 6, Khin Khon accused a security guard working for DARPO of raping her 13-year-old daughter, and said unidentified men threatened and beat her after she filed a complaint.

Choam Ksan residents have also accused DARPO of torture and unlawful forced eviction. The NGO has denied any wrongdoing.

Three villagers questioned at the provincial court last month were charged with incitement, disinformation and forgery after a judge said they had falsified complaints against DARPO. Two remain behind bars.

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