Despite calls for his arrest this morning by Hun Sen over a Facebook post the prime minister dubbed “treasonous”, opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour remains in a “safe place,” according to an opposition lawmaker
Teav Vannol, a senator with the Sam Rainsy Party, which still exists as a legal entity, told the Post that early reports that Sok Hour, a dual French-Cambodian citizen, had been detained at the Cambodia National Rescue Party head quarters were untrue.
“I’m not sure of the location, but I know he has not been arrested… as of this hour, he is in a safe place.”
“I talked to his wife, and his wife said that he told her he is in a safe place.”
The reports followed comments by Hun Sen during a speech this morning calling for the Sam Rainsy Party senator to be arrested for posting “fake” international treaties to his Facebook page related to the Cambodia and Vietnam border.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh, the premier accused Sok Hour of treason.
“Whatever price, the government has to take action…. this is treason, I can say it like this.”
The premier ordered National Police Commissioner Neth Savoeun to detain Sok Hour and Minister of Justice to request the Senate revoke his parliamentary immunity.
He also ordered Phnom Penh International Airport to block Sok Hour from fleeing and told foreign embassies not to interfere.
“If you do not let me have harmony, I also do not let you have harmony too,” he said.
“Pochentong [airport] must close all checkpoints to that man. Please, other embassies, do not accept the man. This is an actual offense and he must be arrested immediately. Other embassies do not interfere.”
However, following the speech, several senior police officials, including General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for Ministry of Interior, claimed police were not yet seeking Sok Hour.
Despite there being no arrest yet, Teav said it appeared the Senate was already moving to strip Sok Hour of his immunity as a senator.
“I got a call from the secretary of the senate to have a meeting tomorrow at 8:30am, a whole session meeting, he didn’t say why, but you probably already know why.”
Spokesman for the French Embassy Nicolas Baudouin said Sok Hour was not at the embassy.
The opposition senator, the chairman of the Senate’s anti-corruption committee, has played a key role in the CNRP’s recent campaign to highlight alleged encroachment by Vietnam, traveling to Paris to collect maps the opposition says are versions of the constitutionally mandated maps that should be used to demarcate the country’s eastern boundary.
The opposition has accused the government of ceding land to Vietnam by using the wrong maps to demarcate the border, increasing political tensions.