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CPP Village Chief Blocks Forum, Party Claims

A ruling party village chief moved to block a scheduled political meeting by the Human Rights Party last week, officials said Wednesday.

The Human Rights Party was meeting to rally political support in Chhouk district, Kampot province, ahead of national elections in July.

Local authorities moved to block party officials from entering the village, said Sen Sov, a Human Rights Party official in Kampot.

“They said if we dare to hold any political meeting, they will dare to arrest us,” Sen Sov said. “My activists are worried and afraid of the arrest, as they would suffer in prison.”

Chey Sena Village Chief Chek Eng declined involvement in threats, but said in order to hold such meetings need permission.

“I didn’t threaten,” he said. “I don’t have a problem; just do it, but I ask that you have permission.”

The Human Rights Party has been blocked from a series of scheduled public meetings in recent weeks, by what it calls political intimidation.

Any prohibition of such activity is against electoral law, said Chhin Savuth, a rights investigator for the Cambodian Human Rights Center.