Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Former CNRP provincial officer claims harassment

Former CNRP provincial officer claims harassment

Former CNRP provincial officer claims harassment

A former member of the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) in Svay Rieng province claimed on Sunday that he has been forced into hiding because he criticised the Romeas Haek district governor and local authorities.

Kong Mas, the former head of the CNRP’s Svay Rieng provincial committee, told The Post on Monday he had gone into hiding a few weeks ago after hearing talk of a hunt for him. A visit by police on Sunday, he said, confirmed the rumours.

Mas, who is expected to stand in the July 29 national elections, fled to Bangkok following the party’s dissolution by the Supreme Court in November. He returned after reporting intimidation and harassment by Thai officials before recently going into hiding.

“The commune police chief visited a CNRP commune official and asked whether I was back in Romeas Haek. My mother also spoke to me [on Sunday night] warning me not to return home,” he said.

A former CNRP official, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed that commune police had been to see him.

“The commune police came to ask if Kong Mas had been to Romeas Haek recently. The police told me: ‘If he comes back, please let us know’,” he said.

While the official said he did not know the reason behind the visit by police, Mas said that he had frequently criticised local authorities over developments in the area.

“I criticised Romeas Haek District Governor Penh Chea for trying to take a plot of land from a family in Kampong Trach commune. The family had lived in that area since 2008. Penh Chea came later but he had the land title since 2004.

“Chea claimed that he wanted to give the land to the state, but there must be proper compensation for the family,” Mas said.

He claimed to have also criticised road construction in the district and the felling of trees to be sold to Vietnam. This, he claimed, happened not only under Chea, but also previous governors.

“I have frequently used Facebook to criticise developments in the district, especially regarding land disputes where villagers have had their land taken, and not just by one family, but many, and this made the [authorities] unhappy. I have also criticised the district governor for his involvement in these matters,” he said.

Lut Rom, the Kampong Trach commune police chief who allegedly went to look for Mas, and Sam Sam Ol, Romeas Haek district police chief, declined to comment when contacted by The Post.

Koy Sopheap, Svay Rieng deputy police crime chief, and Phan Ratana, a spokesperson for Svay Rieng provincial court, said they were unaware of the case or if an arrest warrant had been issued for Mas. Chea could also not be reached for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Time to avert disastrous Covid situation: officials

    The Covid-19 situation in Cambodia is heading towards further large-scale community transmission as the total number of confirmed cases is nearing 61,000 and the death toll passed 900 on July 10, senior health officials warned. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine expressed concern that the country was going

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Baby saved as mother is lost to Covid

    Newborn baby Neth David has had a rough start in the world. His mother, Vong Daneth, was seven months pregnant when she contracted a severe case of Covid-19. When it became clear to her doctors that she would not survive, they performed a cesarean section

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided