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Long night for detained Funcinpec activists

Three activists from royalist party Funcinpec were detained for questioning for 15 hours in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district beginning Friday night, one of them has told the Post.

Doeun Chandara, 47, said his car was stopped at about 9pm by more than 10 district and commune police officials who accused them of distributing campaign pamphlets.

He said that he and two fellow activists, Hang Channa, 50, and Leang Chamreoun, 23, were made to stay in the car until midday on Saturday.

“[We] were stopped and asked for the pamphlets that we were placing in front of villagers’ homes,” he said. “It was not the pamphlets themselves that were a problem, but the fact they were articles copied from Koh Santepheap newspaper.”

He said the activists had been campaigning in the area on Friday but distributed the last of their pamphlets before the campaigning blackout took effect.

“The police accused us of spreading pamphlets to cause disorder,” Chandara said. “We were allowed to go after our party’s president and other senior officials intervened.”

Seng Ponlok, Peam Ro district police chief, said the three activists had not been arrested, just questioned.

“We were worried the political pamphlets would disrupt public order,” he said.

Ponlok said police let the activists go on their way — 15 hours later — when they realised the pamphlets were “fine”.

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