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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Opposition members under fire

Opposition members under fire

The president of the Human Rights Party’s Kampong Cham chapter was the subject of a court investigation and would be arrested in connection with the distribution of a document critical of the ruling party, officials said yesterday.

Kampong Cham provincial court prosecutor Huot Vuthy said Seng Siengly would be arrested for “masterminding” the distribution of a document that criticised the loss of Cambodian land to neighbouring countries.

Two HRP activists, Phan Pha and Om Yean, were arrested on Thursday for handing out copies of the document.

“We have charged the party president because he is the mastermind,” Huot Vuthy said.  

“His subordinates said they took these documents from [their] leader.”

Huot Vuthy declined to provide the Post with an exact date for Seng Siengly’s arrest, saying only that it would happen after a court concluded its investigation.

We have charged the party president because he is the mastermind

Seang Siengly did not express concern when contacted on Sunday, claiming his actions were in the best interests of the people.
“If they arrest me, there is nothing I can do,” he said.

HRP president Kem Sokha described the arrest of the HRP members as an example of the government blowing an issue out of proportion.

“We don’t want a small issue to become a big issue,” he said.

Kem Sokha also denied that his members had distributed the document, claiming that it was used for internal purposes only.

However, government spokesman Phay Siphan said that the HRP activists were guilty of incitement.

“The use of fake documents to incite the people is against the law,” he said.

The provincial co-ordinator for rights group Adhoc, Neang Sovath, said he would investigate. “If [the court] does not have proper evidence, the arrests are an abuse of human rights,” he said.



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