CNRP Mulls Filing Complaint Over Death Threat

CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha is considering asking authorities to investigate the credibility of a death threat posted to Facebook, an opposition spokesman said Thursday.

A Facebook user writing under the name of Pheng Vannak on Wednesday posted an image of a pistol and seven bullets to the social networking site, saying that each was for Mr. Sokha, CNRP spokesman Yem Ponhearith said.

A screenshot of the post went viral, and Mr. Vannak has since denied creating the post.

Increasingly vital areas of the opposition leader’s body would be targeted, Mr. Vannak writes in the screenshot of the post that went viral, beginning with Mr. Sokha’s left hand and ending with fatal shots to his heart and head.

“I don’t know anything about this,” Mr. Vannak wrote in a later post referring to the screenshot.

“Even though I dislike Kem Sokha, I didn’t intimidate Kem Sokha. I will lodge a complaint with the police to investigate who cut and edited that photograph and fraudulently added my name to defame me through Facebook,” he wrote.

Mr. Ponhearith said the CNRP would conduct an internal investigation into the matter once Mr. Sokha returns from a fundraising trip to the U.S. on Monday.

He said the party had to decide whether the threat was credible given that Mr. Vannak had retracted the post, but he added that the post was nevertheless intended to intimidate.

“I think it is politically threatening that they do not want a person who loves democracy in Cambodia,” he said.

Mok Chito, director of the Ministry of Interior’s central judicial police department, said that such bravado on Facebook was common and not the concern of authorities.

“It is a small issue, because we don’t have rules related to Facebook,” Lt. Gen. Chito said, adding that authorities would not investigate the matter if it were referred to them by the CNRP.

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