The Ratanakkiri Provincial Court has granted bail to Theng Savoeun, director of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community (CCFC), and his two colleagues who have been charged on various counts including “causing unrest” and “undermining public order”.

Provincial court spokesman Keo Pisoth told The Post on May 31 that Savoeun, Nhil Pheap and Phan Hach were released the previous evening and put under judicial supervision.

“This does not mean that the charges have been dropped by the court. They may be remanded in custody if they do not comply with the conditions of their provisional release orders,” he explained.

Piseth did not disclose the conditions set out in the bail release order.

The trio were arrested on May 17 in Kratie province, at the request of Ratanakkiri police.

On May 22, they were charged with incitement to commit crimes under Article 495 and plotting an assault on the authorities under Article of 453 of the Criminal Code.

Some commentators have suggested that their release was the result of a May 27 apology to Prime Minister Hun Sen and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng. The letter was accompanied by a three-minute video clip in which Savoeun admitted that he had been “influenced by foreign actors and opposition politicians”.

He confessed to orchestrating activities aimed at causing unrest and undermining public order, with the “unintended” consequence of destabilising the government.

Savoeun’s wife, Nhoung Sok Heang, was overjoyed that her husband had been released on bail. She told The Post on the morning of May 31 that they were travelling to their home in Phnom Penh.

“I am very happy. Although the court has not dropped the charges, he has been allowed to reunite with his family,” she said.

She added that Savoeun’s health is deteriorating and that he has lost weight due to his concerns about his family. She declined The Post’s request to speak directly with her husband, claiming that his bail conditions precluded an interview.