Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP activist makes claims of police harassment in Ratanakkiri



CNRP activist makes claims of police harassment in Ratanakkiri

CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua meets with supporters yesterday in Ratanakkiri province. Facebook
CNRP lawmaker Mu Sochua meets with supporters yesterday in Ratanakkiri province. Facebook

CNRP activist makes claims of police harassment in Ratanakkiri

An opposition activist in Ratanakkiri was questioned by police ahead of a Cambodia National Rescue Party event yesterday, a move decried as “discriminatory” and “intimidation” by the party and analysts.

CNRP activist Khuth Var said police came to question him at his home on Wednesday night. Although the issue was resolved by Thursday morning, when the public forum with CNRP Deputy President-elect Mu Sochua went ahead, Var said the local ruling party officials were not subjected to the same treatment.

“[On Wednesday] the commune police chief came to tell us to remove our tent and to stop holding the forum because we did not have permission, and he told us that he just followed the orders of the commune chief and district governor,” Var said. “It is such discrimination against us because we are CNRP.”

But Kon Mom District Governor Chhoeun Chan Theang said Var had not provided a letter informing the district of the political activity three days prior, instead giving only one day’s notice.

“We do not allow them because they do not follow our rules,” Chan Theang said.

“[If there were] an incident taking place, the authority would not be responsible for its security. If someone who hates them threw something into [the tent], there would be chaos. They would die . . . We just wanted them to do it the proper way.”

Phak Pov, Trapaing Kraham commune police chief, stressed that “it was not a big deal”, and that there were also questions about the legitimacy of the event, as the official commune election campaign period does not begin until May 20.

He said the issue was resolved after some negotiation, and said the treatment was different for the CPP because they already held the commune chief position. “Because they are the local authority, when they are holding a forum they just inform police, who go there and provide security for them,” Pov said.

Opposition lawmaker Sochua said there had been no problems at the forum yesterday, which was attended by an estimated 250 people.

“[There was] intimidation the night before, of course, but we’re so used to it . . . Every time we are challenged it is an opportunity,” she said.

“I stressed very strongly the rights of the indigenous people . . . There have been really massive land concessions . . . [and] people were so desperate, they felt cheated. For the indigenous people, their lives are with the forest.”

Political analyst Meas Ny said there was “no doubt” there was a double standard for the CPP and the CNRP, but also urged both parties not to sneak in campaigning before the official period.

“I don’t believe it is an order from the top but more an initiative of the local level . . . They think they can make [the upper level] happy that they have done something to disturb the CNRP,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting