PHNOM PENH, Nov. 2, (Khmer Times) – Following recent criticism from Non-Government Organizations, Cambodia’s Commissariat of National Police held a press conference on Sunday to clarify the circumstances leading to the arrest of 10 members of the Khmer National Liberation Front (KNLF).
Spokesman for the National Police, Lieutenant Colonel Keit Chantharith, said “On the 22nd and 23rd of last month, 10 members of the KNLF were arrested by police and sent to jail by the Phnom Penh court because our investigations confirmed that they are members of an illegal armed force established by Sam Serey.”
“We seized 770 KNLF flags, 1,000 palm hats with the KNLF symbol and 461 pieces of printed propaganda designed to fight against the Cambodian government and to insult King Norodom Sihamoni,” he said.
In addition, the police say they also found appointment letters of KNLF members, two CDs and 49 copies of a book.
“The details of the books are inciting and distort history while insulting the King and attacking the government,” the police spokesman said.
He added: “They created an illegal armed force along the Cambodia – Thailand border. In fact, in May 2013, Cambodian police, in cooperation with Thai police, arrested four KNLF leaders who confessed that previously they had recruited soldiers and conducted training near the Cambodia–Thailand border (in preparation for) for fighting against the legal government.”
The police spokesman also claimed that they had taken possession of a “military list” with details of hundreds of military personnel. He also asserted that the KNLF had sent intelligence agents from Thailand to get secret information from key Cambodian military sites.
Human rights groups had criticized the arrests, calling them “unjustified”.