Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - LDP activist detained for political messages

LDP activist detained for political messages

A League for Democracy Party activist speaks to police after being arrested yesterday for political campaigning in Ratanakkiri. Photo supplied
A League for Democracy Party activist speaks to police after being arrested yesterday for political campaigning in Ratanakkiri. Photo supplied

LDP activist detained for political messages

An activist for the League for Democracy Party was halted by police in Ratanakkiri province for broadcasting political messages over a loudspeaker on Tuesday, in what one election monitor said constituted a “double standard” and “an abuse of power”.

O’Chum district deputy police chief Chan Than said ice block seller Sieng Piseth, 27, was stopped on his motorbike by police for peddling his political message along with his wares.

“We stopped him because it affects the other political parties,” Than said, noting that the activity was taking place outside of an official campaign period.

“If he just picked up a CD along the way and played it to see what it was, that would be OK. But he is an activist. So, we let him sign a contract promising to stop doing that.

”Than warned if Piseth did it again, police would confiscate the loudspeaker.

“If he wants to play it, he should just play it behind closed doors or use earphones,” he said.

Piseth and LDP leader Khmem Veasna could not be reached yesterday, but Koul Panha of election watchdog Comfrel slammed the move.

“It’s not only a double standard; it’s also a problem of abuse of power. There’s no law that authorises them to do that, to harass people,” he said.

While Cambodia has brief official “campaigning” periods just prior to elections, Panha said people had the right to publicly discuss political ideology and educate others about elections at any time.

“You have the right to give a political message or enter a political debate,” he said.

Indeed, Prime Minister Hun Sen, and many other high-ranking officials, routinely use public addresses to sing the praises of his Cambodian People’s Party, while opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party leaders do much the same on frequent province trips.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ERIN HANDLEY

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished