Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Cheam Channy was arrested and held for two hours Tuesday after leading a protest at a market in Kompong Thom town.
The market has been scheduled for demolition, and vendors have been offered space in the nearby Stung Sen market. But vendors say the rent in the new market is too expensive. Four weeks ago, National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh wrote a letter to Kompong Thom province Governor Nou Phoeung asking him to delay the forced move into the new place.
Nou Phoeung agreed, and said he would await word from the prime minister about the rent.
Nou Phoeung said Cheam Channy was arrested around 11:40 am because he was leading an illegal demonstration. He was released about 1:40 pm.
“The Council of Ministers made the decision to move to a new market because the old one is ugly, smells bad and has poor hygiene,” Nou Phoeung said. “The town’s beauty is destroyed by it, and Kompong Thom is a tourist area.”
Cheam Channy said he wanted to meet with the governor to ask him not to punish any vendors who fought his arrest.