Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP calls harassment in petition drive

CNRP calls harassment in petition drive

Sam Rainsy Party commune chief Seang Chet is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week after being questioned.
Sam Rainsy Party commune chief Seang Chet is escorted out of Phnom Penh Municipal Court last week after being questioned. Heng Chivoan

CNRP calls harassment in petition drive

The opposition CNRP claims their attempts to gather thumbprints to petition the King to release Cambodia’s 29 political prisoners has faced political backlash from police.

The thumbprint collection comes a week after Ministry of Justice spokesperson Kim Santepheap slammed rights group Licadho for its webpage that counts the days human rights workers, opposition supporters and environmental activists have spent in jail.

Doung Phon, a CNRP member collecting thumbprints in Kampot’s Chhouk district, said the police called him in for questioning yesterday.

“They asked me why I collect thumbprints and asked if I forced people to give their thumbprint, but I replied I never forced them,” Phon said. “They asked us to stop this action, so I will stop for a while.”

Phon said the police interrogation was a sign of political intimidation, but a spokesperson for Phnom Penh City Hall, Chin Bunthoeun, said although the CNRP was entitled to collect thumbprints, it was also necessary to monitor their reasons.

“It’s their right, but if suspects who are in jail are released because of a group of people collecting thumbprints, this means they are damaging the rule of law. It amounts to a lawless country,” Bunthoeun said.

CNRP spokesperson Yim Sovann said the petition would be delivered to King Norodom Sihamoni at the end of June.

Meanwhile, one of the prisoners – Sam Rainsy Party member Seang Chet, a commune chief in Kampong Cham – will apply for bail on Thursday.

His lawyer, Sam Sokong, said Chet should be released to fulfill his duties while his legal case progresses.

MOST VIEWED

  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Hun Sen’s rare visit to Cuba: What’s going on?

    Back on August 17, Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that he would deliver a speech at the 77th UN General Assembly (UNGA) at the UN headquarters in the US’ New York City, visit Cuba and attend the state funeral of the slain Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo