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Villagers guard activist accused of witchcraft

A Human Rights Party activist and his family in Kampong Speu province’s Phnom Sruoch district are being guarded by local villagers after leaflets left at his office accused him of sorcery.

Kong Von, HRP activist in Kiri Voan commune’s Traipaing Kraleung village and president of the village Forest Association, said yesterday that he found three leaflets outside the HRP office on April 9.

“The first leaflet said that I, Kong Von, am a witch and had a skull and crossbones symbol,” he said. “The second leaflet said ‘Kong Von – find a coffin’ and the third leaflet said ‘Give up sorcery’.”

Kong Von said that he filed a complaint to the commune chief and commune police that day but they refused to accept it, telling him that the leaflets were a joke.

He added that 103 members of the Forest Association were guarding his house in turns.

District HRP activist Svay You said that Kong Von was envied because he was president of the Forest Association and had received US$10,000 from an NGO to conserve community forest.

“[The case is] a personal dispute and related to some political matters,” said Svay You.

“The victim is also a Human Rights Party activist, so the authorities don’t care.”

Phnom Sruoch district governor Tep Mean said that Kong Von should file a complaint to his office and he would ask officials to investigate.

Kiri Voan commune chief Kith Keoun could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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