Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Three more sought in removal of post at Svay Rieng border

Three more sought in removal of post at Svay Rieng border

Three more sought in removal of post at Svay Rieng border

SVAY Rieng provincial court has issued arrest warrants for three villagers who uprooted temporary markers near the Vietnamese border in October, after they disobeyed a summons to appear in court on December 24.

The warrants, copies of which have been obtained by the Post, accuse the three local villagers of “purposely destroy[ing] Cambodia-Vietnam border marker Post 185”.

“This orders the arrest of the accused … and for them to be sent to court, which should take legal action,” state the warrants, issued December 25 under the signature of Investigating Judge Long Kesphyrom.

The three named in the warrants – Prak Chea, 28, Neang Phally, 39, and Prak Koeun, 38 – joined with opposition leader Sam Rainsy in uprooting the posts during a Buddhist ceremony in Chantrea district on October 25, claiming they were placed on their land by Vietnamese authorities.

Pov Pheap, deputy chief of Samrong commune, said Sunday that Svay Rieng provincial Governor Cheang Am spoke with villagers in Chantrea district’s Samrong commune that morning, reassuring them that the three people would not be arrested if they returned home.

“Excellency Cheang Am said that the people who fled should not fear to come back home … There will be no arrest. He said it openly like this,” Pov Pheap said.

Fear of retribution
The three fled after provincial authorities arrested their fellow villagers Meas Srey, 39, and Prom Chea, 41, at the court when they appeared for questioning on December 23. All five received the same summons to appear at court.

Sam Rainsy, who is currently abroad in Europe, also faces arrest over the incident after failing to appear in court on December 28. He is charged with incitement and the destruction of private property.

Cheang Am and Long Kesphyrom could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

Yim Sovann, spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, declined to comment on the case in detail, but said that since the first two villagers were jailed, the other three would have likely faced the same fate if they obeyed their court summons.

“We have concerns about the safety of these three people,” he said.

“The two villagers were jailed on the same such citation, so the fate of the three people will not be different.”

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

    The commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU) Hing Bun Heang on Sunday dismissed a short video clip that went viral on social media in which he says he is preparing for a war with the United States over its aggressiveness towards