A large rock smashed through the side window of a car that had just dropped off members of the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice in Kandal province on Tuesday night, the group’s leader But Buntenh said on Wednesday.
The activist monk, a high-profile government critic who has recently voiced fears for his safety, said the rock was thrown in the dark in Kien Svay district as the car sped away toward Phnom Penh.
“The car was running at 60 km per hour when the stone was thrown and the driver sped up so we cannot identify anything,” he said.
The driver, the only one remaining in the vehicle after delivering seven monks from Kompong Chhnang province, was not injured, he said.
But Buntenh said he suspected that the unidentified assailant had targeted the car thinking that he, or members of his network, were inside.
“They see in the morning seven monks in the car, so they may think I am there or my team was there,” he said. “This issue happened purposefully.”
He said he regularly changes the vehicle in which he travels out of fear for his safety.
“There are people following my car. When I ask, ‘Why are you following me?’ They say they are here to protect me, not to trouble me, but on Wednesday night the problem happened. Why is there no protection?” he said.
The monk said he did not file a complaint with police because he lacks faith in the authorities.
“I don’t trust the authorities because the authorities always follow me,” he said. “It’s fruitless to complain. It’s a waste of time and paper.”
District police chief Pa Sam Eth said an investigation would have been conducted if a complaint had been made.
“Every crime we need to take action, but if he didn’t file a complaint, how could we investigate?” he asked.
(Additional reporting by Sek Odom)