CNRP Youth Activist to Protest Over Leaked Passport Details

An outspoken CNRP youth activist who claims that her passport application was leaked by immigration police said Thursday that she will lead protests in front of the Ministry of Interior and Prime Minister Hun Sen’s residence in Phnom Penh if authorities do not attempt to right the situation.

Thy Sovantha, 19, whose personal Facebook page has more than 188,000 followers, is demanding that Interior Minister Sar Kheng order an investigation into who leaked the document, and take measures to protect her and her family after her life was threatened.

“On Wednesday, through my Facebook page, I appealed to Interior Minister Sar Kheng to find the person who leaked the original copy of my passport application,” she said.

If no action is taken by the Ministry of Interior, Ms. Sovantha said she will file an official complaint to Sar Kheng on Monday. If that fails, she will deliver petitions four days later to embassies and civil society groups to ensure she remains safe. As a last resort, she will protest four days later in front of the Ministry of Interior and four days after that at Mr. Hun Sen’s villa near Independence Monument.

“People from party number four must be responsible for finding the person from party number four to prosecute,” she said, referring to the CPP’s position on July’s ballot.

A Facebook user named Chea Sovannary shared Ms. Sovantha’s passport application, which includes her home address and the names of relatives, along with a comment telling CPP youth to pour acid on her head.

“It seems this prostitute Thy Sovantha is unable to escape being attacked with acid in few days because they know [her] address,” the comment says.

Lieutenant General Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said on Wednesday that he doubted the leaked passport application came from Interior Ministry officials.

But Ms. Sovantha said Thursday that there was no other possible source.

“Only passport officials hold the document, so it proves the person who leaked the document must come from passport department under Ministry of Interior,” she said.

The passport application, dated January 6, is signed by Major Kao Kol Vuth and Second Lieutenant Than Kanthol, neither of whom could be reached Thursday.

Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor for rights group Licadho, said it was incumbent upon the government to ensure that people’s private documents are not made public.

“It is very important to conduct a thorough investigation to find out who leaked the document because it has caused [Ms.] Sovantha to be at a high risk of being attacked after her address and her relatives have been exposed,” he said.

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