Two former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) were arrested on Saturday and Sunday and sent to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for allegedly “insulting the King”.
Kong Bunheang, 66, and Hang Seng, 69 – both residents of Battambang province’s Sangke district – formerly served as members of the CNRP provincial executive committee.
Bunheang was arrested on Saturday evening and Seng’s arrest followed on Sunday morning, according to Dim Saroeun, a former member of the CNRP provincial council.
Saroeun said he did not know why the pair was arrested, adding they had not been active in politics or social media since the CNRP was dissolved in 2017.
Deputy provincial police chief Lim Puthyla confirmed to The Post that the two had been sent to court.
National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun could not be reached for comment on Monday. But in an interview with Radio Free Asia, he said the two were arrested with warrants issued by the municipal court for insulting the King.
Seng’s nephew, Ly Hov, said on Monday that a policeman arrived at his house on Sunday and told him and Seng, who worked in construction, to repair the garden at the Sangke district police station. They arrived at the station with their tools and materials and waited for about an hour. Then Seng was handcuffed, arrested and sent away in a car.
Hov said: “They arrested him, put him in a car and drove away. When asked why they arrested him, they said it was related to politics and that he [Seng] would be questioned for a few days and then released.
“He was not active [politically] since the party was dissolved. He fell ill since then and we’ve spent about $200 or $300 for medicine.”
Hov said Seng suffers from chronic illnesses including hypertension.
Bunheang’s wife, Sen Sy, declined to comment on Monday, saying she was looking for her husband in the capital
Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Kuch Kimlong confirmed that Bunheang and Seng were being questioned.
Under Article 437 of the Criminal Code, which was amended in 2018, the offence carries a prison sentence of between one and five years and a fine of between two and 10 million riel ($500 and $2,500).