PHNOM PENH —
[Editor’s Note: A series of salacious audio recordings emerged last week in what Cambodia’s main opposition party, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, has said is an attempt to falsely slander its vice president. The recordings purported to reveal that Kem Sokha was having an affair with a woman named Mon Srey. The woman’s Facebook account details and the alleged recording of a phone conversations with Sokha were widely shared over recent days. Now, Mon Srey has come forward and rejected the allegations. She spoke with VOA Khmer about the scandal at the headquarters of human rights group Adhoc in Phnom Penh on Wednesday.]
Firstly, what is your reaction to the rumor that you had an affair with Kem Sokha, the opposition vice-president?
Well, I’d like to say what was published via media and Facebook on Feb. 29—they said I had an affair with [Sokha]—I actually know nothing about [it]. I didn’t have any love affair with him at all. I would like to reject this. I accept that I know him. He is my client at a hairdressing shop. He just called me when he wanted to cut his hair. He is even older than my father, how could I have a romantic relationship with him?
Is the voice in the recordings your voice?
It’s not mine. But others might think it’s mine as they saw it on Facebook with my account name, the face and the voice saying that it’s mine. I only accept that the profile picture is mine. The Facebook profile Mon Srey is my account too. I have used that account for two or three years, but then one day it got an error and I couldn’t log into my account. And then, the affair with Kem Sokha went on Facebook. On my account, I only posted my photos, I didn’t write about any love affair with Kem Sokha at all. What was written on my Facebook has ruined my reputation.
When you saw this news on Facebook, how did you feel at that time?
I was so surprised and shocked. It froze me. At that time, I couldn’t even say anything. I have never thought such a thing could happen to me. Why me? Why did they do that? Is it about politics or what? How come they created such drama? I really have no clue.
Why did you decide to present yourself at Adhoc?
I have been seeking a way to speak the truth so that people know what exactly the case is. I need to explain that I’m not in an affair. I came to Adhoc seeking help. I was told Adhoc could help me and give me justice. As I’m not doing anything wrong, I don’t need to hide myself.
Since your identity and Facebook account were revealed, has anyone harassed you?
No, no one annoyed me or threatened me, despite that fact that I got two letters from the Ministry of Interior calling me to address a disinformation case, and also a letter from the court on Thy Sovantha’s case.