KNLF Dissidents Claim They Are Hiding From Thai Police

Two members of the Khmer National Liberation Front—a group that advocates for the removal of Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ruling CPP—claimed on Thursday they were in fear of arrest in Thailand after police there began calling them into meetings.

Sam Serey, the Denmark-based founder of the group, which Prime Minister Hun Sen has labeled a terrorist organization, said he was “seriously concerned” after receiving reports from his colleagues in Thailand.

Two members, An Chith and Norm Savorn, said they were in hiding as Thai police and “Hun Sen’s forces” were carrying out searches to arrest them, Mr. Serey said in an email on Tuesday.

Contacted by telephone on Thursday, Mr. Chith—who fled Cambodia more than three years ago due to fears he would be arrested—said he had recently received two phone calls from Thai police trying to coax him into a meeting.

“Thai police called me twice, on July 25 and on August 2. They called me to try and meet with me, but I knew that they would arrest me, so I escaped from them,” Mr. Chith said, declining to disclose his current location.

“I believe that we will not be safe for a long time in the future, so we reported to and requested that the UNHCR in Thailand help protect our safety,” he said, referring to the U.N.’s refugee agency.

Mr. Savorn, who also fled three years ago, said he had been bombarded with phone calls by Thai police but had blocked the calls.

“Now we are hiding for our safety and UNHCR also told us to hide for our safety,” Mr. Savorn said.

The group is largely made up of ethnic Khmer Krom dissidents, many of whom reside in Thailand. In 2014, seven members were found guilty of plotting to overthrow the government and sentenced to between five and nine years in prison.

Vivian Tan, regional press officer for UNHCR, said she had no knowledge of Mr. Chith or Mr. Savorn.

Cambodian police officials could not be reached.

(Additional reporting by George Wright)

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