Days after they were arrested for distributing leaflets in Phnom Penh calling on Cambodians to protest in front of the Vietnamese Embassy, 10 members of the Denmark-based dissident group Khmer National Liberation Front (KNLF) were charged and imprisoned on Saturday, rights workers said yesterday.
Am Sam Ath, a technical supervisor for local rights group Licadho, said the 10 suspects were sent to Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison at around 3pm on Saturday.
According to Sam Ath, four families – three from Banteay Meanchey province and one from Preah Vihear – came to Licadho’s office on the day of the group’s imprisonment seeking assistance.
“We are now in talks with our NGO partners and considering how to find lawyers for them,” he said.
The KNLF has been labelled as a terrorist organisation by the government, but Sam Ath said members of the group “do not even understand what the movement is”.
Chan Soveth, of NGO Adhoc, said that a further two families from Battambang province are meeting with the group today to discuss legal representation.
Neither Soveth nor Sam Ath was certain of the charges laid against the group, but both believed they were related to attempting to “overthrow the Cambodian government”.