Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protesting villagers in hiding

Ethnic Kuoy villagers protest on Friday over farming land and resin trees that were allegedly cleared in Preah Vihear
Ethnic Kuoy villagers protest on Friday over farming land and resin trees that were allegedly cleared in Preah Vihear’s Tbeng Meanchey district. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Protesting villagers in hiding

Two ethnic Kuoy villagers in Preah Vihear province’s Tbeng Meanchey district are in hiding after rumours circulated yesterday that police were seeking to arrest them for participating in a protest against two Chinese plantation firms last week.

Lor Chann, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said yesterday that Phan Sokhet, 25, and Chhim Samut, 31, were on the run after taking part in a protest of more than 150 Kuoy villagers that began on Thursday.

“They were told that police had planned to arrest them for inciting villagers to protest against the companies,” he said, adding that if police were looking for the men it could be an attempt to intimidate the protesters into halting a planned one-month demonstration.

On Thursday, Venerable But Buntenh, president of the Independent Monks Network, along with another monk, Nam Chanthen, and three staff members of the Community Legal Education Center – Bo Pao, Em Sarom and Chhan Sambo – were arrested by Preah Vihear provincial police after attending the protest. Sokhet said yesterday that he was concerned for the safety of himself and Samut after he was told that police were searching for them.

“Police arrested the monks and NGO staff without any reason, so for me I need to escape because the situation is not good and police just arrest anyone they want,” he said.

“We all lost the land, so we protest for a solution. I did not incite them and they did not incite me either.”

However, Tbeng Meanchey deputy district police chief Soam Hay and Brame commune police chief Thin Chanthy denied that police were searching for the two men.

The two monks and CLEC members were released shortly after 9am on Friday following the intervention of Adhoc and a protest outside the district police station by 106 ethnic Kuoy.

Si Kiry, provincial police chief, yesterday played down the detention of the monks and CLEC staff. “We did not arrest or detain them. We saw them . . . with protesters and we questioned them, and when there was no problem we let them go,” he said.

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Kem Sokha talks politics, power and Hun Sen

Kem Sokha, leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, sat down with The Post’s Alex Willemyns and Mech Dara to discuss his supporters’ initial disappointment with this year’s

Phnom Penh eats: Dine amid green gardens at Chol Chet

Located just off National Road 1 about 9km south of central Phnom Penh, Chol Chet — which means 'like' in Khmer — is a great getaway from the bustle of the capital.

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking