Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers protest for release of neighbour

Villagers protest for release of neighbour

Villagers protest for release of neighbour

MORE than 100 villagers protested in front of Kampong Thom provincial court yesterday, calling for the release of a villager jailed in connection with a local land dispute.

Lem Nath, a villager in Stoung district’s Trea commune was arrested on August 9 for allegedly falsifying thumbprints on a petition related to the dispute.

Villagers said yesterday that Lem Nath was arrested without cause, and that she had helped villagers protest against the sale of 300 hectares of villagers’ land to two local businessmen.

“We want to have Lem Nath released because she was arrested without reason. She has led the protest against land-grabbing,” said villager Lanh Phan, who claims to have lost 1 hectare of land to the men.

“If they want to arrest her, they must arrest us all together because we are all involved.”

Choung Choungy, Lem Nath’s lawyer, said that he delivered two letters to court president Khorn Sakal and investigating judge Chum Sar yesterday, requesting the release of his client.

“I would like the court to release my client because the police have arrested her without a warrant of arrest, violating the law. Based on the law it is not enough to detain her,” he said.

When contacted yesterday, court President Khorn Sakal said that he would deliver the letter to the investigating judge but that he could not force him to release Lem Nath.

“We must understand that the judge is independent. I cannot interfere in his case,” Khorn Sakal said.


  • 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

  • UAE prince seeks to invest in Cambodia

    The UAE has expressed interest in Cambodian oil and gas exploration. Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem said this was the result of his discussions with Sheikh Ahmed bin Dalmook bin Juma al-Maktoum, a member of the royal family who visited him on Wednesday.

  • Kem Sokha off the menu as Smith talks judicial independence

    The UN Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, on Tuesday, focused on “judicial independence” at a meeting with Ministry of Justice officials. Both Smith and ministry spokesman Chin Malin said the former opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (

  • Smith calls for ‘release’ of Sokha as visit ends

    At a press conference to conclude her 11-day visit to Cambodia, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia Rhona Smith on Thursday called for treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped and for him to be released from “restricted detention”.