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Activist jailed while attempting to file appeal

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Long Sokunthy has been jailed. Facebook

Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court has jailed an activist who represented people locked in land disputes after she was arrested yesterday while travelling to file an appeal in O’Chrou district.

Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem said Long Sokunthy was arrested yesterday based on a warrant issued by the court.

“We arrested her based on the court’s order,” Mr Khem said.

According to the arrest warrant issued by Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court, Ms Sokunthy, 42, was sentenced to one year in prison for invasion of privacy and property damage. The court claimed the crimes were committed in Svay Chek district’s Slakram commune.

“The court orders the judicial police to find and arrest Long Sokunthy and bring her to appear in front of a prosecutor and immediately commence the prison sentence,” the warrant said.

According to Soum Chankea, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, Ms Sokunthy was arrested yesterday while she was on her way to appeal a March 15 verdict handed down by the provincial court for invasion of privacy and private property damage.

“Police arrested her after the court sentenced her to one year in prison,” Mr Chankea said.

According to Mr Chankea, Ms Sokunthy was representing villagers in a land dispute since 2013 with tycoon Sam Phannarith and former Svay Check district governor Khou Pov, both of whom filed a complaint that led to the charges against her at the provincial court.

About 1,350 hectares of land is disputed by 246 families in Svay Chek district.

Roeun Lina, spokesman of the provincial court, declined to comment.

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