Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Activist questioned over defamation allegations




Activist questioned over defamation allegations

Land rights activist Kuch Veng speaks to two monks after being questioned at the Pursat Provincial Court yesterday. Photo supplied
Land rights activist Kuch Veng speaks to two monks after being questioned at the Pursat Provincial Court yesterday. Photo supplied

Activist questioned over defamation allegations

Almost 150 villagers gathered outside the Pursat Provincial Court yesterday as an activist was questioned over allegations of defamation, incitement to commit a felony and discrediting court decisions.

Land rights activist Kuch Veng, 52, from Krakor district, was questioned by the court for two hours while villagers from five communes, fearing his detention, protested until he was allowed to leave.

After Veng spoke out in 2012 and 2013 against the eviction of 21 families to make way for a community forest on state-owned land on which they had been farming since 1983, and after he publicly criticised a five-year sentence handed down to one of the protesters in 2015, Sna Ansa commune chief Mouk Kor filed a lawsuit against him last August. Kuch and his supporters yesterday requested the court drop the suit.

“The information [we distribute] is to help the society, not to incite any crime. It is not an attack on anyone – it is to halt land-grabbing and natural resource destruction,” Veng said.

“I am sick. If the court detained me, it would be like killing me,” he added. Veng suffers from gallbladder and blood diseases that require him to take medicine daily.

Commune chief Kor declined to elaborate on the allegations.

“I already appeared for questioning after I sued him [Kuch Veng], so let the court do its job,” he said.

Long Cheab, a provincial spokesman, said the court was investigating the case and had not charged Veng yet.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15