Court issues arrest warrant against political analyst

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Sep 20, 2021, 12:08:13 AMSep 20
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September 20, 2021

Court issues arrest warrant against political analyst

Tin Sokhavuth / Khmer Times 

Authorities are searching for a political researcher, following comments posted on his Facebook page. The researcher indicated support for former opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s proposed government in exile.

On Friday, during a vaccination ceremony for children aged from 6 to 12 years old, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the court has issued an arrest warrant to arrest the researcher following posts on his Facebook page.

“There is another researcher for whom the court has already issued an arrest warrant because he supports the 6 points to create a government outside of the country. If he runs away, he should run as far as possible. If he tries to hide here, he will not escape,” said the premier.

“I want to tell [you] that if the story concerns the armed forces [and] government outside of the country, he must be arrested,” added Mr Hun Sen.

Mr Hun Sen also said that concerned authorities went to search for the man at his hometown in Pursat province, but he had already gone to Thailand.

The prime minister added that if the researcher refuses to remove his writing from Facebook, the act will be considered as “flagrante delicto” or a current offence, and he could be arrested at any time.

According to Mr Hun Sen, the 6 points leading to the creation of a government in exile written by the man is not freedom of expression. Rather, it is a crime.

Seng Sary, a social and political researcher, admitted to Khmer Times over Telegram yesterday that he is on the run now after the post on his Facebook page concerning comments about a government in exile made by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

“What I wrote is my own opinion and it’s not against the law. I am an independent social and political researcher. I am not dangerous because I’m not affiliated to any armed force nor political party,” said Sary.

Concerning this issue, previously, government spokesman Phay Siphan has told Khmer Times: “When activists do anything that affects peace, security and social order, the government can ask the Thai government to extradite him or her to Cambodia.”

Siphan also said that the Kingdom has signed an agreement with Thai authorities to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and cross-border crime.

“But the extradition depends on the Thai authorities, too. If (Thai authorities) think that the extradition could harm the life of the extradited person, they may refuse to do so, and the person has the right to seek political asylum in Thailand or another country,” he said.

If any activist is involved in terrorism, the Thai government does not need to follow the extradition steps. They will send him or her straight to Cambodia for further legal procedures, he said.

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