Opposition Human Rights Party president Kem Sokha will file an official complaint with UN special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia Surya Subedi after local authorities allegedly blocked his party from holding a public meeting in the capital’s Russei Keo district yesterday.
Kem Sokha said yesterday that local authorities had dismantled a tent erected for yesterday’s meeting near Kdey Chas pagoda in Bak Khaeng commune. “If the government has a policy of blocking our political rights, it means that they do not want us to contest the election,” he said.
Kem Sokha said his party had received permission to hold yesterday’s meeting at the pagoda, but monks had been threatened. He then asked a resident near the temple, Iem Yem, for permission to hold the meeting on her property and she agreed, he said, adding that police dismantled the tent on Saturday night.
Iem Yem said she was questioned by police. “They did not threaten me. They just said not to allow the meeting and they asked permission to dismantle the tent,” she said.
Commune police chief Loas Sitha denied police were blocking any political party from holding a public forum and said the tent had been dismantled at Iem Yem’s request after she learned that her land had been rented by the HRP.
Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan accused Kem Sokha of self-promotion, saying the HRP had held numerous public forums without any interference. “What he is doing is spreading complaints rather than trying to spread democracy according to the rule of law,” Phay Siphan said.