Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kem Ley funeral committee dogged by ‘threats’



Kem Ley funeral committee dogged by ‘threats’

But Buntenh, leader of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice, attends Kem Ley's funeral in Takeo province last week.
But Buntenh, leader of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice, attends Kem Ley's funeral in Takeo province last week. Heng Chivoan

Kem Ley funeral committee dogged by ‘threats’

Prominent members of the committee that organised the funeral for slain political analyst Kem Ley received threats warning them against participating and have now left the country, according to activist monk But Buntenh, whose comments were supported by at least two other members of the committee yesterday.

Buntenh, who himself has left for Thailand, said from as early as July 13, “most of the funeral committee members” were warned not to facilitate the funeral, claiming he was personally threatened by a military general on the telephone.

Moeun Tola, who was also on the committee, said yesterday that in addition to Buntenh, Voice of Democracy director Pa Nguon Teang and Ee Sarom, head of rights NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut, were directly threatened. Both men are understood to have left Cambodia. Teang declined to comment while Sarom was unreachable.

Tola said that although he had not received a specific threat, he had noticed strange people following him and had been contacted by blocked numbers only to have the caller hang up. Another member of the funeral committee, who declined to be named, said he had been told of the threat against Sarom and had also been followed to his office.

“I’m worried; now I don’t like going out anywhere,” he said.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets on July 24 to join Kem Ley’s funeral procession from Phnom Penh to his home in Takeo province.

After the funeral, Buntenh said he went into hiding because he feared for his safety. Articles then appeared in pro-government media accusing him of embezzling $30,000 from money donated to Ley’s family.

However, this was roundly denied yesterday by Buntenh, Ley’s brother and the analyst’s wife, Bou Rachana. “He has never come close to the cashbox or kept the money,” Rachana said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘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

  • Courts’ decisions now published as reference source

    The Ministry of Justice has published 44 verdicts from civil litigation cases which can be used as models for court precedents and for study by the public and those who work in pertinent fields. Publication of the verdicts on December 31 came as the result of joint

  • 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

  • China firm to develop Mondulkiri airport

    Tourism to the Kingdom’s northeast corridor could experience a remarkable metamorphosis after the government decided in principle of a Chinese company to study and develop a proposal to build a regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province, according to industry insiders. The Council of Ministers said