Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry calls activists for questioning

Ministry calls activists for questioning

Ministry calls activists for questioning

AN Interior Ministry official in Phnom Penh has summoned three village representatives listed in a complaint stemming from a high-profile land dispute in Kampong Speu province, prompting concerns that they could soon be arrested.

The three men hail from Thpong district’s Omlaing commune, and they have been advocating on behalf of more than 2,000 families believed to have been affected by a 9,000-hectare land concession awarded to the Phnom Penh Sugar Company, which is owned by Cambodian People’s Party Senator Ly Yong Phat.

In a demonstration last month, about 300 Omlaing villagers blocked a section of National Road 52 in Kampong Speu after accusing company employees and Royal Cambodian Armed Forces soldiers of attempting to tear down homes.

Company representative Chheng Kimsruon said she had been trapped in her car for hours during the protest, and later filed a complaint accusing five men of illegal detention.

A letter signed on Monday by In Bora, director of the Interior Ministry’s Penal Police Department, summoned three of the men – You Tho, Phal Vannak and Ieng Chiva – to appear at the ministry’s offices in Phnom Penh on Tuesday. Though Chheng Kimsruon said earlier this week that her complaint had been filed at Kampong Speu provincial court, she said yesterday that it had also been filed at the ministry.

Phal Vannak and You Tho said yesterday that they would appear for the questioning session, though both expressed concern that they would be detained.

In Bora could not be reached for comment yesterday. Mok Chito, director of the ministry’s criminal police, said he did not know about the complaint or the summonses.

Ouch Leng, land programme officer for the rights group Adhoc, accused officials of trying to stave off a protest should the men be arrested, saying it was unlikely a large number of Kampong Speu villagers would travel with them to Phnom Penh.

MOST VIEWED

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,

  • Gov’t continues China tilt as ties with the US slide on ‘interference’ in Kingdom’s internal affairs

    CHINA has granted some $131 million in aid to the Cambodian military. It comes as yet another sign that the Kingdom is strengthening strategic ties with its Asian neighbour to counter increasingly cold relations with the United States. The aid was announced as part of a