Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No special treatment for jailed CNRP members, says Chanrath

No special treatment for jailed CNRP members, says Chanrath

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CNRP activists Ouk Pich Samnang (left) and Meach Sovannara (right) are escorted into the Supreme Court in Phnom Penh in January of 2017. Pha Lina

No special treatment for jailed CNRP members, says Chanrath

Former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker Ou Chanrath on Thursday claimed that opposition officials and activists are not enjoying any preferential treatment in Prey Sar Prison after leaks surfaced that Meach Sovannara was in possession of a phone in his cell.

Opposition figure Sovannara has been serving a 20-year jail sentence since 2015, after he was arrested for demonstrating against the government in July 2014, which triggered violent clashes between the police and protestors at Freedom Park.

On July 26, Chanrath and four other members who visited 15 activists in prison after his request was finally approved by authorities, said the facility adopted strict rules for visitors and prisoners.

However, the request to meet former CNRP leader Kem Sokha at the Trapaing Plong Prison located in Kampong Cham province was not granted.

As the prison rules were strict, only four members – Um Sam Ann, Meach Sovannara, Neang Sokhun and Yon Kemhuor – were allowed as visitors but handshakes and direct talks were disallowed as they were shielded by mirrors and iron bars.

He said two sets of laws existed in the prison – for those charged with a felony and political prisoners. For the former, rules were more flexible as families could communicate directly and bring food for the inmates.

“During the visit, I found they are in good spirits and healthy. They also asked me about the status of their case and to help facilitate their release soon,” he said.

The jailed activists are Sam An, Sovannara, Roeun Chetra, Yea Thong, Oue Narin, Khin Roeun (Khin Chamroeun), Sokhun, San Kemheng, Sum Puthy, Ke Khim (Vin Di), Tep Narin, An Pakthorm (Sokhum), San Seyhak, Ouk Pichsamnang and Kemhuor.

Sorn Keo, the spokesman for the General Prison Department under the Ministry of Interior, said he did not know that Chanrath visited the prisoners. However, he confirmed that prison rules were implemented without discrimination against any group or party, and this was to ensure order and security.

Meanwhile, human rights organisation Adhoc spokesperson Soeng Sen Karona said if what Chanrath revealed was true, then it is a discrimination and contradicts the Constitution.

Sam An was detained for a border offence, while Sovannara and 13 other former CNRP activists were arrested for demonstrating to liberate Freedom Park in 2014. They were sentenced in July 2015 and face prison terms ranging from seven to 20 years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • Ministry to 'seek justice' for officials indicted in US for 'monkey smuggling'

    The Cambodian government and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said they will make the “utmost effort” to seek justice for a Cambodian official arrested in John F Kennedy International Airport in New York for allegedly conspiring to smuggle crab-eating macaque monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,