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Senator says he was harassed during stop

Sor Chandeth, a Sam Rainsy Party Senator, talks to supporters earlier this month at a party gathering. Photo supplied
Sor Chandeth, a Sam Rainsy Party Senator, talks to supporters earlier this month at a party gathering. Photo supplied

Senator says he was harassed during stop

Sam Rainsy Party Senator Sor Chandet on Thursday filed a complaint to the Senate president over an incident on May 10 in which he was halted for two hours by some 30 armed authorities over their suspicion of his Senate licence plate.

In a May 19 letter to the senate president, Chandet claims his parliamentary immunity and human rights were violated.

Chandet said yesterday that on May 10 he was driving in his constituency of Oddar Meanchey province when soldiers, military police and local police stopped his car in Samroang district.

“They said they wanted to check if I had a weapon . . . When they did not see any weapon they checked the trunk of my car and spotted a civilian [licence] plate. I told them I bought a civilian car, but they said it was fake,” Chandet said.

Nonetheless, even after showing his Senate ID, Chandet said he was made to replace his Senate plate with the civilian one.

Chandet said that in protest he would stop using his Senate plate from today because it is “meaningless”, and denied local media reports he had several vehicles under one plate.

Senate spokesman Mam Bunneang yesterday said he confirmed Chandet’s identity to police on the day of the incident but added that the police report indicates authorities were justified in stopping the car as police say the plates had been seen on another car.

Thou Sothea, provincial traffic police chief, said the stop had been routine, and part of a broader crackdown.

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