Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Eight to appear in Svay Rieng court over SRP removal of border marker

Eight to appear in Svay Rieng court over SRP removal of border marker

Eight to appear in Svay Rieng court over SRP removal of border marker

091222_05
Villagers force their way through a police blockade on December 14 to lead opposition parliamentarians and journalists to the site of border-demarcation poles at the heart of a dispute with Vietnam.

EIGHT people have been summoned to appear in Svay Rieng provincial court today and Wednesday for questioning in connection with an October incident in which opposition leader Sam Rainsy joined local residents in uprooting posts marking the border between Cambodia and Vietnam.

Pov Pheap, second deputy chief of Samrong commune in Svay Rieng’s Chantrea district, said Monday that he and two officials from nearby Bavet commune – Sok Sam Ien and Suk Korn – would appear at the court, though he maintained the innocence of all who have been summoned.

“We will not escape; we must appear in court in order to avoid arrest,” Pov Pheap said. “We are not afraid of being summoned because we have not done anything wrong.”

All three commune officials are members of the Sam Rainsy Party, Pov Pheap added.

In addition to the commune officials, five villagers from Chantrea district will also appear for questioning. The commune officials and the villagers joined Sam Rainsy in his October protest over what they said were continued encroachments on their land by the Vietnamese.

Sam Rainsy has been summoned to appear in Svay Rieng provincial court on Monday, though he remains abroad in Europe and it is unclear whether he plans to attend.

A citation issued last week by Judge Long Kesphyrom stated that the opposition leader was charged with racial incitement and the destruction of property, and that a warrant would be issued for his arrest if he did not appear as ordered.

Meas Srey, one of the villagers summoned to the court, said there were many more than five people in her community who had lost land to the Vietnamese, but that most of her neighbours did not dare to complain publicly.

“I am not afraid. I have not done anything wrong. I saw the poles planted on my land, and I uprooted them,” she said.

Another villager summoned to appear, Prom Chea, said he was nervous about his day in court, though he also maintained that he and the others who participated in the protest had done nothing wrong.

“I’m worried about losing land, so I complained. I relied on the government to resolve the situation, but they did not resolve it,” he said, adding that he and his family had lost between 4 and 5 hectares of land to Vietnamese encroachment.

Judge Long Kesphyrom could not be reached for comment Monday.

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