Ex-CNRP activist arrested over 2019 incitement case

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Kak Komphear (left) was arrested on Sunday. Kong Mas (right) was tried last year for insults and incitement to commit crimes. Facebook

Kak Komphear, a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) member, was arrested on Sunday on a warrant related to a 2019 incitement conviction.

Komphear’s wife, Prum Chantha, told The Post on Monday that he was arrested at the Bati district hall around 10am. But she does not know where the police took her husband.

“I heard that they were ordered by the higher levels to take him to the Bati district police station. I have asked and he may have been sent to Prey Sar because he has already been sentenced along with Kong Mas, Ho Vann and Sam Rainsy,” she said.

Bati district deputy police chief Naim Sophon confirmed on Monday that Komphear had been arrested. But he did not know the reason for the arrest.

In October last year, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court put four people on trial. Three – Rainsy, Vann and Kompheak – were charged with “conspiring to insult and incite crimes”. A fourth, Mas, was tried for “insults and incitement to commit crimes”.

On October 18, last year, Komphear, Rainsy and Vann were sentenced to one year and eight months in prison, while Mas was sentenced to one year and six months.

Chantha said her husband did not do anything more after he was convicted by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, and her husband had been travelling until his arrest.

She claimed that the arresting officers did not reveal the warrant and she was unaware of any criminal charges her husband had committed. Since the CNRP was dissolved, her husband has been unemployed and on the run.

“Since dissolving the party he has done nothing else. He has been hiding for a long time and now he has been arrested. He had travelled in all the provinces and there was never a problem,” she said.

Morn Phalla, former head of CNRP’s Phnom Penh municipal executive committee who is also wanted by the police, wrote on his Facebook page that in addition to Komphear, the police also detained three other people on Monday.

They were Sun Thun, a former president of the Kampong Thom Independent Teachers’ Association, Peart Map, a former CNRP council member in Siem Reap, and Hun Vannak, a member of the network “Khmer Thavrak”.

National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun confirmed on Monday that the police had detained Komphear and others on a Phnom Penh Municipal Court warrant.