Police in Phnom Penh have arrested five members of the Khmer National Liberation Front for distributing leaflets calling on people to protest against the government during the upcoming Water Festival, an official said yesterday.
Deputy municipal police chief Soem Vuthy said officers made the arrests in Russey Keo district on Friday.
He said the KNLF is an illegal group known for carrying out offences against the government.
“We arrested the suspects while they were distributing leaflets in Phnom Penh,” Mr Vuthy said, adding that police seized 23 flyers from the group. “After questioning, they were transferred to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for legal proceedings.”
The National Police website identified the suspects as Khoun Tam, 68, Chin Sarith, 53, Prak San, 50, Chim Savoeun, 38, and Doung Nanda Ananda, 38.
In a separate case, the court on Friday issued a warrant summoning the president of the Federation of Cambodian Intellectuals and Students to appear at the Interior Ministry today.
Leng Senghong, 29, is accused of encouraging people to protest if the opposition CNRP were dissolved.
In May, three KNLF members were arrested by police when they held a press conference demanding the government uphold human rights and free political party activists from jail.
A total of 10 KNLF members were last year found guilty of plotting against the government and each sentenced to between five and 10 years in prison.
The government says KNLF created an illegal armed force, sent intelligence agents to get secret information at key military sites, spread propaganda about the government, and trained terrorist forces to secretly plant explosives near the Thai border.
The group also established a government in exile in Denmark led by Sam Serey, who was sentenced in absentia to nine years in prison for allegedly trying to topple the government.
Mr Serey is a member of the Khmer National Unity Front, also known as the Tiger Liberation Movement or Tiger Head Movement, whose objective is to root out Vietnamese influence from within the Cambodian government.
It was founded by Cambodian national Sok Ek and gets the “Tiger” nickname from its symbol.
KNUF gained notoriety for planting explosives in front of the Council of Ministers and the former 3 TV Channel, as well as carrying out armed kidnappings in 2007.