A Cambodian Center for Human Rights activist claimed Tuesday that he was detained briefly by police in Takeo province on the eve of a public forum in Kiri Vong district to discuss the disappearance of local Khmer Krom monk Tim Sakhorn.
Chhim Savuth, a CCHR investigator, claimed that he was detained by Kiri Vong district police in Som commune from 8:30 to 11 am and that the megaphone he was using to promote today’s forum was confiscated.
“After I was released police asked me not to use the megaphone,” he said, adding that the forum was scheduled to be held this morning at the Phnom Den commune Pagoda where Tim Sakhorn was chief monk until his recent defrocking.
Tim Sakhorn disappeared June 30 after being defrocked under orders from Great Supreme Patriarch Tep Vong, who accused him of undermining relations with Hanoi by attempting to establish a rogue religious movement out of his pagoda.
Meas Sophoan, Kiri Vong district police chief, denied that police had detained Chhim Savuth, adding that CCHR neither had permission to hold the forum nor to promote it.
“Police didn’t prevent [CCHR],” he said. “But they did not ask permission from the authorities,” he added.
CCHR President Ou Virak said that he was unaware that his investigator had been detained.
“We asked for a report to explain why they confiscated the megaphone, but they refused to do so,” he said, adding that he had informed commune officials of today’s forum.