CNRP Activist Detained Over Political VCDs

Police on Sunday detained a CNRP activist and confiscated 347 political video-CDs that he was transporting to the party’s headquarters in Phnom Penh, police and opposition party officials said Monday.

Im Namkea, 29, was riding his motorbike through Russei Keo district to the CNRP’s headquarters in Meanchey district when police approached him, said Chraing Chamreh I commune police chief Yim Sereivan.

Mr. Sereivan said that Mr. Namkea, who was known to authorities as a CNRP activist, attempted to flee but was apprehended and questioned.

“We did not arrest [Mr. Namkea], we just called him for questioning after he ran away from the police officer,” Mr. Sereivan said.

When asked why police had apprehended Mr. Namkea, Mr. Sereivan declined to comment and referred questions to commune chief Huy Mora.

Mr. Mora declined to comment, saying Mr. Namkea was detained at his office only briefly then transferred to the Russei Keo district office.

Ek Sereivuth, penal police chief in Russei Keo, denied any knowledge of the CNRP activist’s arrest or of his detention.

“There is no such case that the district office is aware of,” he said.

Mr. Namkea, the activist, said he sustained minor scratches to his neck and ear and would soon file a complaint against authorities.

The VCDs showed violent police and military repressions of land and labor activists and last year’s return of exiled CNRP president Sam Rainsy, among other promotional videos for the opposition party, according to Khun Samnang, the CNRP’s secretary for Russei Keo district.

“Police accused him of disturbing public order,” Mr. Samnang said.

“I think the CPP is using intimidation to thwart freedom of expression. [Mr. Namkea] did nothing illegal.”

On April 17, at the CNRP’s memorial ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge’s overthrew of Phnom Penh, Dangkao deputy district governor Prach Seiha was set upon by a group of CNRP supporters after he intercepted a woman selling pro-CNRP VCDs.

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