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Family Members Claim Innocence for Suspects of Overthrow Plot


Family members of 10 suspects accused of a plot to overthrow the government have come to Phnom Penh, seeking support from local rights organizations.

Family members claim the suspects were not involved in an armed movement and fear retribution from local authorities. The families came from the northwest Cambodian provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Battambang and Preah Vihear.

Nay Vanda, deputy chief of the monitoring and legal aid section of the rights group Adhoc, said the Cambodian government lacks evidence against the 10 men, and he called on the government to either open hearings against them or release them.

Adhoc is following the case and will provide lawyers, he said.

Family members told VOA Khmer they do not believe the men to be guilty of joining an overthrow movement.

“The accusation against my father is not right, because he is only a farmer,” Chhim Vimen, the 24-year-old daughter of Chhim Smak, one of the suspects, who feeds pigs for a living.

Chhun Von, 55, the mother of suspect An Chan, 25, said her son too was a farmer and not joined a movement against the government.

Uy Mao, the 55-year-old father of suspect Chhrang Mock, who is a second-year student at Battambang University, said his son helps the family farm when he is not in school.