Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kim Sok vows to ‘double’ push for democracy after prison release



Kim Sok vows to ‘double’ push for democracy after prison release

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kim Sok is shown at the capital’s municipal court last week to undergo questioning over a second set of charges against him. Pha Lina

Kim Sok vows to ‘double’ push for democracy after prison release

Kim Sok, who was released on Friday from the Prey Sar prison where he served a one-and-a-half-year sentence on charges of incitement and defamation brought by the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), has vowed to double his efforts to promote democracy in the Kingdom.

However, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan warned the analyst that he could court more trouble if he fails to speak the truth.

Sok was sentenced on charges stemming from comments he made regarding the murder of Kem Ley, who was killed in broad daylight in 2016 by a gunman who referred to himself in Khmer as Choub Samlab or “meet to kill”.

He was detained in February last year for his comments after a lawsuit was filed by CPP lawyer Ky Tech.

Speaking to The Post on Sunday, Sok claimed he wouldn’t dial back his criticisms of the government, but rather, double down on it.

“My working habit is my nature since I was born. I promised before I was jailed that I would speak the truth. They imprisoned me. So when I got out of prison I doubled my work.

“I would not incite or defame as they accused and jailed me [of doing]. Double work means I will continue my mission to promote democracy, at least twice as much as I used to do before.

“I won’t stop. Nobody must stop but continue to strengthen the spirit of democracy,” he said.

When asked if he worried about another arrest while commenting on issues in the future, Sok said he did have his fears.

“If I said, I wasn’t worried I would be lying ... I am only human. I am worried, and I am afraid just like normal people. However, my worries and fears are limited ... I am worried that I have little time to work on my mission, to promote democracy in Cambodia,” he said.

Eysan said it was Sok’s right to make comments, but warned that he could face challenges if he didn’t speak the truth.

“That is his right. He is entitled to be an analyst, but his work must connect with reality which makes his analysis ethical.

“If his analysis is politically motivated and intended as an attack on the ruling party or the government, that might cause problems for him,” Eysan said.

The sentence that landed Sok in prison was delivered by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in August last year.

Confirming charges of “incitement to commit a felony and public defamation” the court sentenced him to 18 months incarceration and ordered him to pay a fine of 800 million riel ($200,000) to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

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