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Human Rights Activist Threatened

A human rights activist in Kampong Cham province was threatened recently by a Cambodian People's Party commune chief, party officials said Monday.

The Human Rights Party said its activist had received threats in Kampong Cham that were related to work he was conducting in the hometown of Prime Minister Hun Sen ahead of elections.

A Human Rights Party headquarters was established in Stung Treng town Oct. 30, which may have led to the threats, Chan Cheng, the party's council head for Kampong Cham, said.

Activist Chea Kea was called in by local authorities and questioned for three hours, in an area that has "a history of threats on democratic parties," Chea Kea said.

Violence and threats in the countryside are often reported in election run-ups, and critics say this prevents them being truly free and fair.

Tuol Preah Khleang Commune Chief Srey Meng denied the accusations Monday.

Chea Kea had been called in for questioning over fishing violations in the area.

"He usually fishes illegally," Srey Meng said.

Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha said that his activists have been threatened in other provinces, as well.