Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP meetings ‘banned’ in Kampong Chhnang

CNRP meetings ‘banned’ in Kampong Chhnang

Opposition leader Kem Sokha campaigns in Kampong Chhnang province in the lead-up to the June commune elections. Opposition officials in Kampong Chhnang say they have been barred from meeting since Sokha’s arrest on Sunday.
Opposition leader Kem Sokha campaigns in Kampong Chhnang province in the lead-up to the June commune elections. Opposition officials in Kampong Chhnang say they have been barred from meeting since Sokha’s arrest on Sunday. Facebook

CNRP meetings ‘banned’ in Kampong Chhnang

Opposition members in Kampong Chhnang say they have been banned from meeting since the arrest of CNRP leader Kem Sokha on Sunday, with the provincial police chief yesterday saying he would “not allow” the party to “discuss politics”.

Keo Tha, provincial CNRP executive committee chief, said many communes were meant to have regular scheduled party meetings in the last few days, but were banned by police from gathering, even at their own party’s office or at a home.

He said the restrictions began just after Sokha was arrested during a raid at his home early on Sunday morning after a years-old video, in which he discusses assistance from the US in planning his political career, resurfaced online.

Sokha was officially charged with treason on Tuesday.

“I think that the situation is very severe in Cambodia, especially at the local level,” Tha said, adding that members can’t even meet for regular party affairs, such as making reports about problems within their communes and discussing voter registration.

“We ask civil society groups and the government to reconsider [their actions], and stop the restrictive measures to ban the processes of the CNRP at the local level,” he said.

Cheang Sarun, recently elected as the CNRP’s Popel commune chief, said police banning their meetings was in violation of the right to peaceful assembly, which is guaranteed under the Cambodian Constitution.

“Kampong Chhnang Deputy Provincial Police Chief Sum Socheat told the CNRP to stop gathering party members in public places and at the party’s office because they were afraid we would talk about Kem Sokha,” he said.

Mao Phally, the CNRP chief of Ponlai commune, said during a recent monthly CNRP meeting in Boribor district, Socheat took the opportunity to inform members not to get involved with Sokha’s case.

“Do not think about it, and just do your work normally and firmly. Do not allow meetings or discussions about Kem Sokha,” he said Socheat told them at the time.

Socheat yesterday said the opposition wasn’t barred from meeting for routine business, but insisted they were not allowed to gather to discuss Sokha.

“If the opposition party group gathers and discusses Kem Sokha, they will be banned – we do not allow them to discuss politics,” he said, without offering a legal rationale.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said what police were doing was “intimidating rather than law enforcement”.


  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could