Ruling Party in Cambodia threatens to kill opposition activist

You know the election is near when CPP officials threaten to kill anybody who joins the SRP

CPP official threatens to kill opposition activist

27 August 2011
By Ratha Visal
Radio Free Asia
Translated from Khmer by Soch
Click here to read the original article in Khmer

A report from Ratanakiri indicated that a CPP provincial official threatened to kill anybody who would join the opposition SRP party.

A resident of Norng Hay village, Seda commune, Lumphat district, Ratanakiri province, had accused Thom Bun Thong, the principal of the Norng Hay elementary school and a local CPP official, of discrimination and of violating the villagers rights to choose their political party.

The resident added that, in the past, he did not yet join any political party, but that he has a good relationship with another village resident who is a SRP activist. Because of that, Thom Bun Thong, the school principal, accused him and threatened him. The resident indicated that he was concerned for his safety: I am reporting this so that everybody hear about it, so that there are arrangements made for me, so that there is a resolution for me. I am afraid that one day in the future, somebody could sneak and kill me

On Saturday 27 August, Thom Bun Thong confirmed that it was his unintentional mistake because he was too drunk: He was my student, thats why I said that [to him]. I was wrong in what I said, I admit that. I did not threaten him at all. I know that he joins the SRP, I did not threaten him and I was not angry with him, I ask for an arrangement, there is nothing wrong.

Kong Srun, the deputy president of the CPP party in Lumphat district and also deputy-district governor, said that it could be individual problem, but not a party problem. He added that the CPPs goal it to have its party members adhere to loving and helping the people and that they respect the law. Joining a political party is the peoples right, they have no right to force others. But to have us threatening others to absolutely join our party otherwise, they would be killed the CPP does not need people who threaten and violate others rights.

On Friday 26 August, the ADHOC human rights group in Ratanakiri province, received a report about threat issued and request for its intervention in this case. ADHOC was also asked to follow up on the violation of freedom rights case against villagers who join a political party.

Chhay Thy, a provincial ADHOC official, confirmed that he will investigate this report in order to find out whether discrimination was true or not. He added that ADHOC will send a letter to ask for intervention from the local authority to summon those involved in this case in order to prevent the situation from deteriorating further. According to his explanation, it even involves shooting and such. This is an action to discourage the peoples freedom rights and it is also a political threat.

During the 2008 election, Funcinpec, the SRP and the CPP competed for 5 commune councilor seats in Seda commune, however, only CPP candidates were elected during that election. Sok Khet, a SRP activist from Seda commune indicated that he was also scorned and threatened by Thom Bun Thong several times in the past also, but he did not reply back.

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