A monk who is a member of the Khmer National Liberation Front (KNLF) – a dissident group branded a terrorist organisation by the government – was sentenced to seven years in prison yesterday on treason charges for distributing KNLF literature in Phnom Penh.
Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Kor Vandy said that defendant Hin Chan, 33, had attempted to overthrow the government, and was charged as an accomplice to treason and with faking public documents.
“It was ordered that the KNLF books and other related KNLF materials which were seized from him must be confiscated and destroyed,” Vandy said.
Chan was arrested in Russei Keo district in May of 2014. In the arrest, police seized more than 250 KNLF books and an allegedly fake passport.
Chan – who admitted at trial to being a KNLF member and distributing the books – yesterday maintained he had broken no laws, and vowed to appeal. Despite KNLF’s designation as a terrorist group, government officials in the past have struggled to explain why the group is outlawed, and the KNLF itself insists it is a non-violent group.