Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monks who protested arrest of fellow monk ‘under watch’



Monks who protested arrest of fellow monk ‘under watch’

Monk But Buntenh (centre) displays a toy gun during a protest for the release of fellow monk Horn Sophanny, who was arrested on weapons charges after allegedly posing for a photo with the fake rifle. Facebook
Monk But Buntenh (centre) displays a toy gun during a protest for the release of fellow monk Horn Sophanny, who was arrested on weapons charges after allegedly posing for a photo with the fake rifle. Facebook

Monks who protested arrest of fellow monk ‘under watch’

Activist monks in Battambang who protested the arrest last week of fellow monk Horn Sophanny are claiming they are under surveillance by plainclothes officials in a bid to intimidate them.

But Buntenh, the leader of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice, said members of his group reported the harassment to him yesterday.

“Some monks are under watch by authorities. They are searching for those who joined in the protest,” Buntenh said.

Sophanny, a member of Buntenh’s group, was arrested last week for posting a picture of himself posing with what appeared to be a toy gun on Facebook alongside text criticising the government. Buntenh and others protested on Thursday, saying the gun was indeed a toy.

According to Buntenh, a woman who cooked for the protesters was questioned by authorities demanding that she identify the monks involved.

“It is not a good situation,” Buntenh said, claiming it was a form of intimidation.

Heng Chhaihong, Battambang provincial coordinator for human rights group Licadho, also said the observation would qualify as intimidation, adding it was well within the monks’ rights to protest peacefully.

Chhaihong added the plastic gun didn’t warrant the charge of illegal weapon possession.

Chet Vanny, Battambang provincial deputy police chief, said he did not know whether the monks were under watch and directed questions to the Ministry of Cults and Religion, which could not be reached yesterday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • SBI LY HOUR Bank Launches Cross Border Money Transfer Service between Cambodia and Vietnam on RippleNet, utilizing DLT

    SBI LY HOUR Bank Plc and Hanoi-based Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank (TPBank) on Friday launched the first Cambodia-Vietnam money transfer service in real currency via RippleNet, provided by SBI Ripple Asia Co Ltd to provide safe, fast and convenient services. SBI LY HOUR

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a

  • Cambodia ready to exit LDC status

    Cambodia is well-prepared to minimise economic risks when it graduates from its Least Developed Countries status, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Commerce on May 7. Four LDCs – Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and Nepal – met at a virtual workshop last week to explore potential

  • Nine US franchises eye Cambodia debut

    Nine famous US franchising companies are looking for business opportunities and expansion into Cambodia to build a footstep for a strong foundation in Southeast Asia. The US embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with the US Foreign Commercial Service and with support from the American

  • Lost in translation: ‘Starvation’ in capital’s designated red zones

    “DACH bay” is a Khmer slang meaning a “loss of income”, that could also be literally translated to «deprived of rice”, which alludes to starvation. However, civil society organisation (CSO) officials have independently confirmed the government’s prior assertions that there are no cases of