Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two detained at Kem Ley cafe

Two detained at Kem Ley cafe

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Two people have been detained for inciting crime and disorder after they marked the third anniversary of the death of slain political analyst Kem Ley in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Two detained at Kem Ley cafe

Two people who were arrested separately on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning remain in detention accused of inciting crime and disorder after they marked the third anniversary of the death of slain political analyst Kem Ley.

Phnom Penh municipal authorities arrested Kung Reiya, a former activist for the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, and three of his family members on Tuesday night. But the family members were later released.

Phnom Penh Municipal Hall spokesman Meth Meas Pheakdey told The Post: “The three youths were involved in printing T-shirts [bearing slogans and Ley’s picture].

“The three will be released after investigation. Only one person is involved in the offence and now we have sent him to the Phnom Penh Municipal court.”

Three more young people were arrested on Wednesday after handing out “inciting” leaflets at the Caltex petrol station on the capital’s Monivong Boulevard where Ley was gunned down on July 10, 2016.

“They were arrested not for marking the anniversary but for distributing leaflets inciting crime and disorder. In fact, we only detained one youth. The two other youths claimed they volunteered to come along with the youth we detained.

“We have separated the cases and have detained only one youth because he distributed leaflets inciting others to commit crimes affecting the security and order of the nation,” Meas Pheakdey said.

Reiya’s wife Srey Nich told The Post that the authorities sent her husband to the municipal court on Tuesday night and then sent him back to the Phnom Penh Municipal Police headquarters.

“Yesterday evening, he was at the Phnom Penh police headquarters. They arrested my husband accusing him of posting on Facebook to sell shirts printed with Kem Ley’s photo."

“Three other people were made to sign a contract at the Phnom Penh police headquarters and were then allowed to return home,” she said.

Transparency International Cambodia director Preap Kol, who attended the anniversary gathering at the Caltex petrol station yesterday, said for the last three years on July 10, he has visited the cafe where Ley was shot, to drink coffee, remember him, and pray for his spirit, as he respected and loved him.

“What I saw around the petrol station and in the shop this morning showed the restrictions on fundamental rights and freedoms imposed by narrow-minded Cambodian authorities."

“I am dismayed that the authorities deployed so many forces to stop people marking the anniversary,” he said.

Soeng Sen Karuna, a spokesman for rights group Adhoc, said on Wednesday that the authorities’ actions were unlawful and violated the people’s rights to gather peacefully.

“If they are charged with any crime, we will consider sending a lawyer to defend them in accordance with the law,” he said.


  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’