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Activist Claims He Was Threatened Over Political Poster

An opposition activist in Kampong Cham province claims he and three others were threatened by a representative of a rubber plantation after he posted a Sam Rainsy Party sign along the roadside.

Keo Chesda, an activist in Chamkar Leu town, told VOA he posted the sign on a public road but was threatened if he didn't take it down, a charge a plantation representative denied.

Cambodia is three weeks away from nationwide local elections. During such election cycles, seemingly small gestures like sign posting—a popular method of candidate promotion throughout the country—often take on greater significance and sometimes lead to violence.

"In the evening, I was told to take the sign down and it could not be left where it was," Keo Chesda said.

A representative of the plantation, Lim Deth, called him to say if it was not taken down that night, "you will not get off easily, and don't show your muscles with me," Keo Chesda said.

He and three other activists felt threatened, he said.

SRP officials say the plantation is aligned with the ruling Cambodian People's Party, a charge plantation representative Lim Deth, whose house was near the posted sign, also denied.

"I told people to go and tell them that if they put it on my property, they should remove it," Lim Deth said. "I do not want to get involved with a political party."