PM Says CFF Arrest Campaign Will Continue

By Lor Chandara

the cambodia daily

Prime Minister Hun Sen said Wednesday that he will continue to crack down on suspected members of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters, no matter their political affiliation, in order to maintain peace and stability in Cambodia.

Any individuals or political party leaders who are involved with terrorism “will have to face the law, and we will use force to capture them, and we will go to their homes to capture them,” Hun Sen said.

The prime minister, speaking to reporters outside the Council of Ministers, said his campaign to combat domestic terrorism is in accordance with the US-led crusade against terrorism.

Terrorism is everywhere—even in the US—Hun Sen said, adding that terrorists in Cam­bodia use “the palm tree leaf to wrap the sugar palm,” a reference to the CFF leaders in the US using Cambodian people to create “terror” in Cambodia.

The prime minister said a CFF suspect’s allegiance to a political party does not matter, and added that even if an NGO official is a CFF member, they will be arrested and tried. “We don’t want sparks to become a fire,” he said.

Some of the suspected CFF members who have been arrested were commune election candidates or commune officials affiliated with Funcinpec or the Sam Rainsy Party. But  Hun Sen pointed out that at least one of the suspects arrested was a high-ranking RCAF commander who had been with the CPP for more than 20 years. Kek Galabru, founder of the NGO Licadho, said arrests of alleged CFF suspects should follow a “transparent legal procedure.” She said CFF suspects—the same as anyone arrested in Cambodia—deserved proper legal representation.

She said she did not know how many suspected CFF members have seen lawyers, but that so far officials have not allowed any Licadho representatives to interview the detainees. (Additional reporting by David Kihara)


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