Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sesan locals protest over supporters’ detention

Sesan locals protest over supporters’ detention

Villagers threaten to burn a military police car in protest to release the detained villagers yesterday in Stung Treng province. Photo supplied
Villagers threaten to burn a military police car to protest the detention of villagers yesterday in Stung Treng province. Photo supplied

Sesan locals protest over supporters’ detention

The temporary detention and questioning of 24 people travelling to the reservoir area of the Lower Sesan II dam prompted a three-hour confrontation between Military Police and provincial police officials and more than 100 villagers in Stung Treng’s Kbal Romea village yesterday.

More than 200 people from ethnic minority networks across Cambodia took four vans and two cars to Kbal Romea and Srekor villages to demonstrate solidarity with local villagers – who face flooding after one of the dam’s gates was shut for testing – by taking part in traditional prayers and helping to build floating homes.

However, Sesan district authorities stopped one van carrying 24 travellers and brought them to the provincial police station for questioning, according to villagers. Kbal Romea community representative Dam Samnang’s motorbike was also confiscated.

Incensed, more than 100 people – mostly Kbal Romea residents – protested along National Road 78. The travellers were then ordered to return home.

Environmental activists from Mother Nature posted an hour-long video clip of the protest to their Facebook account showing a group of protesters shouting at Military Police.

“Police and soldiers are assigned to protect the territory and they are not assigned to point guns at the people like this,” one protester said, before the group demanded the immediate release of the 24. The protesters then threatened to set a Military Police vehicle on fire if their demands weren’t met.

Provincial Hall spokesman Men Kong insisted the travellers were stopped for their own protection. “After questioning, we let them go home,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen to ‘step down’ if he loses Sam Rainsy bet over Kem Sokha

    Hun Sen has promised to step down as prime minister while opposition figure Sam Rainsy pledges to turn himself in as forfeits if the long-term political rivals lose a “bet” over the future of former opposition leader Kem Sokha, who is on bail awaiting trial

  • ‘Historic’ Khmer Rouge tribunal Case 002/2 verdict to be delivered

    The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to deliver the verdict on Friday, in the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, in a pronouncement hailed as a “historic event for Cambodia and the world”. The verdict from

  • Record set for world’s longest dragon boat

    Cambodia broke the world record for the longest dragon boat – a title previously held by China, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel said on Monday. He verified the record on the east bank of the Mekong river, in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district. “With

  • Analyst: Government appointments ‘a waste of national budget’

    The government has appointed over 200 officials as undersecretaries of state, secretaries of state, assistants and advisers at various institutions since October 1. While senior officials said the appointments were aimed at ensuring higher efficiency at the national level, social analysts said the practice is merely power-sharing