Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KNLF claims a ‘deception’



KNLF claims a ‘deception’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KNLF) spokesperson Thuy Vy has fled to Thailand on Wednesday. SUPPLIED

KNLF claims a ‘deception’

A GOVERNMENT spokesman on Thursday accused an official from the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front (KNLF) – a group claiming to be Cambodia’s “government in exile” – of inventing alleged death threats as a “pretext” for claiming political asylum.

The comments were in reference to KNLF member Thuy Vy, who was arrested in Phnom Penh in May last year after attempting to arrange a press conference calling on the government to release political prisoners and pardon KNLF leader, Sam Serey, who was subsequently sentenced to 18 months imprisonment on incitement charges.

Upon Vy’s release on November 20, he was appointed KNLF spokesman, publicly stating his intention to register the group as an official political party in Cambodia.

However, on Wednesday, Vy told The Post that as he was preparing to register the party, he received a phone call from a “police official” threatening him.

“A man who said he was a police official told me to end my political career and stop talking about politics or he will eliminate me,” Vy claimed.

On December 5, Vy fled to Thailand, saying he will continue to pursue his political goal of registering the KNLF as an official political party, but he will only return to Cambodia once he no longer fears for his life, and Sam Serey is granted a political pardon.

“I will keep trying to register the party and I hope that the government will recognise the official party registration. I hope that government will soften its behaviour to solve the political crisis in the country and pardon political prisoners such as Sam Serey and Sam Rainsy, so they can resume their political careers constitutionally.

“Despite threats and rights deprivation forcing me to leave Cambodia, I will adhere to my stance promoting the implementation of the Paris Peace Agreement for democratisation, as well as calling for human rights and freedom in Cambodia,” he said.

The KNLF is a political group established in 2012 by opposition politician Sam Serey. It has previously claimed to be the government in exile of Cambodia, but Prime Minister Hun Sen has labelled the group a terrorist organisation.

However, government spokesman Phay Siphan questioned the veracity of Vy’s claim, accusing him of fabricating the story as a “pretext” for seeking political asylum abroad.

“I cannot accept his claims. I believe he is just using it as a way to seek political asylum in a third country. You should not use such things as the pretext to escape to a foreign country,” he said.

If Vy’s claims were true, said Siphan, he “should have filed complaint” to Cambodian authorities in order to begin an investigation.

Siphan’s sentiments were echoed by Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak, who claimed that Vy had invented the death threat in order to gain political sympathy, labelling it a “deception to seek asylum”.

KNLF President Sam Serey told The Post on Thursday that he remains concerned about Vy, but was hopeful that the political situation would improve.

“I worry about his [Vy’s] safety, but I hope that I and my members will be pardoned soon,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom's Covid cluster cases jump to 194

    The Ministry of Health on February 25 confirmed 65 new cases of Covid-19, with 58 linked to the February 20 community transmission. The latest cluster cases include nine Vietnamese nationals, five Cambodians, one each from Korea, Singapore and Japan, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total number

  • Locations shut, dozens more Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health has closed 23 locations in connection with the February 20 community transmission of Covid-19 and summoned for testing anyone who had direct contact with affected people and places. The number of discovered related infections has risen to 76, including 39 women. In a press release,

  • Cambodia's Covid cluster cases rise to 137

    The Ministry of Health on February 24 recorded 40 more cases of Covid-19, with 38 linked to the February 20 community transmission. Of the 40, two are imported cases involving Chinese passengers. The 38 include two Vietnamese nationals and one Cambodian, with the rest being Chinese. This brings the total cases

  • Covid cluster raises alarm, health bodies urge vigilance

    The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia have expressed great concern over the February 20 cluster transmission of Covid-19 in the community. Both entities appealed for vigilance and cooperation in curbing further spread of the virus. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said

  • PM confirms third Covid-19 community transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 20 announced the Kingdom's third outbreak of Covid-19 community transmission after 32 people tested positive in just over 10 hours. Addressing the public from his residence after an emergency meeting, Hun Sen said: "I dub it February 20 Community Event, in which 32 cases

  • Cambodia to make auto-rickshaws

    Locally-assembled electric auto-rickshaws could hit the Cambodian market as soon as early in May after the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) gave the greenlight to an investment project at the weekend. According to a CDC press release, it will issue a final registration