Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sesan locals protest over supporters’ detention

Sesan locals protest over supporters’ detention

Villagers threaten to burn a military police car in protest to release the detained villagers yesterday in Stung Treng province. Photo supplied
Villagers threaten to burn a military police car to protest the detention of villagers yesterday in Stung Treng province. Photo supplied

Sesan locals protest over supporters’ detention

The temporary detention and questioning of 24 people travelling to the reservoir area of the Lower Sesan II dam prompted a three-hour confrontation between Military Police and provincial police officials and more than 100 villagers in Stung Treng’s Kbal Romea village yesterday.

More than 200 people from ethnic minority networks across Cambodia took four vans and two cars to Kbal Romea and Srekor villages to demonstrate solidarity with local villagers – who face flooding after one of the dam’s gates was shut for testing – by taking part in traditional prayers and helping to build floating homes.

However, Sesan district authorities stopped one van carrying 24 travellers and brought them to the provincial police station for questioning, according to villagers. Kbal Romea community representative Dam Samnang’s motorbike was also confiscated.

Incensed, more than 100 people – mostly Kbal Romea residents – protested along National Road 78. The travellers were then ordered to return home.

Environmental activists from Mother Nature posted an hour-long video clip of the protest to their Facebook account showing a group of protesters shouting at Military Police.

“Police and soldiers are assigned to protect the territory and they are not assigned to point guns at the people like this,” one protester said, before the group demanded the immediate release of the 24. The protesters then threatened to set a Military Police vehicle on fire if their demands weren’t met.

Provincial Hall spokesman Men Kong insisted the travellers were stopped for their own protection. “After questioning, we let them go home,” he said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all

  • Ex-RFA journos accuse outlet

    Two former Radio Free Asia journalists held a press conference yesterday claiming they are each owed $28,000 by the US-funded radio broadcaster, which shuttered its in-country operations in September amid a government crackdown on independent media. The journalists, Sok Ratha and Ouk Savborey, maintained they organised