PHNOM PENH —
An opposition activist who was arrested last month has been quietly asked to join the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in exchange for his freedom, officials said Friday.
Sou Torn, 51, who was arrested June 29, was told he should join the CPP or face a jail sentence for allegedly transporting illegal timber, his son, Nget Phally, told VOA Khmer.
“They said we should join silently the CPP,” he said. In the end, they refused, he said.
CPP officials have rejected the claims.
“I am checking out if there is anyone who wants to dishonor the CPP,” said Chea Poch, Kampot’s governor and a member of the ruling party. “If so, I will consider how to file a lawsuit for defamation of the CPP.”
Sou Torn is among a group of activists recently arrested in Kampot and charged will illegally transporting timber. Their supporters say they have been arrested to interfere with their campaigning work in the province ahead of the July 28 elections.