Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP reports increased harassment on eve of dissolution hearing

CNRP reports increased harassment on eve of dissolution hearing

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A screenshot from a video posted on the Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia's Facebook page showing a military police training exercise on Tuesday in Phnom Penh, ahead of a court decision on the CNRP's dissolution. Photo supplied

CNRP reports increased harassment on eve of dissolution hearing

Opposition officials in multiple provinces are reporting organised police efforts to get them to defect or sign contracts promising not to travel to Phnom Penh for tomorrow’s Supreme Court hearing over the possible dissolution of the CNRP.

The Ministry of Interior has ordered provincial authorities to remain on high alert, and declared that any protests at the Supreme Court will be blocked. Heightened numbers of police on standby are being reported in Kampot, Pursat, Koh Kong, Svay Rieng and Kampong Cham provinces.

Kin Lueng, Cambodia National Rescue Party executive chief in Prey Veng province, said police have increased the pressure on local opposition officials to defect to the ruling Cambodian People's Party - as urged by Prime Minister Hun Sen himself - by approaching them personally in recent days.

According to Lueng, one district counsellor was approached by a group of policemen who blocked him from leaving his building today.

In Battambang, CNRP executive chief Chea Chiv reported that an increased number of police and soldiers are patrolling the town looking for vehicles transporting people to Phnom Penh.

“We don’t have any plans to go to Phnom Penh, so none of our members thumb-printed [contracts] promising not to come to Phnom Penh” as other opposition members have been made to do, Chiv said. “But prominent activists and counsellors are being surveilled whether we go to Phnom Penh or not.”

National Police spokesman Kirt Channarith could not be reached today.

In Kampot province, where heightened numbers of police and checkpoints are being reported, Provincial Police Chief Mao Chanmaturith said security forces are being deployed merely to “educate” people to “make them understand whether going to do protest is legal or illegal”.

“On the streets, we just put checkpoints to check the traffic as normal,” Chanmaturith maintained.

Cambodia Center for Human Rights Advocacy Director Duch Piseth said the increased security may create confusion and intimidation among the public.

“The deployment of security forces is excessive,” Piseth said. “It doesn’t need to be at that level.”

Additional reporting by Daphne Chen

Updates to come.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune