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Defectors to CPP Threatened, Hun Sen Says

Political activists who have moved to join the ruling party in Kampong Thom and Takeo provinces have received threatening phone calls insulting them for leaving the opposition, the prime minister said Monday.

Hun Sen said during a Buddhist pagoda inauguration in Prey Veng province that a former commune council member from the Sam Rainsy Party in Barei district, Kampong Thom province, fled her home after a threat.

The activist, Tim Norn, said she had gone to the UN human rights office in Phnom Penh to complain about threats, by local Sam Rainsy Party provincial activists.

She alleged they called her and threatened her after she moved to the Cambodian People's Party in February.

Thon Rithy, a Sam Rainsy Party activist in Barei district, denied he threatened Tim Norn, calling her claims "untrue." The Sam Rainsy Party endorses political freedom, he said, wishing her good fortune with her new party.

A second defector, Ros Serey Udom, who moved from the Sam Rainsy Party to the ruling party Sunday, said Monday he received a threat from an unidentified caller, who called him "lazy" and "stupid" for joining the Cambodian People's Party.

District police in each province said they had not received victims' complaints over the threats but would investigate the cases.