For the second time in just over two weeks, top Sam Rainsy Party security official Long Ry was allegedly harassed by policemen who he claims followed him to party headquarters Tuesday night before surrounding the building for several hours.
Chamkar Mon district police official Lok Lon denied Wednesday that police forces pursued Long Ry, the party’s deputy security chief.
Similarly, other police and government officials said they did not hear about the incident. All of those interviewed said there was no reason police should go to the Sam Rainsy Party compound.
“There was no target appearing in that area,” said Khuon Sophon, Phnom Penh penal police chief.
But several Sam Rainsy Party officials say the incident is part of a larger intimidation campaign targeting Long Ry and others associated with popular actress and traditional dancer Piseth Peaklica, who was fatally shot earlier this month.
“This is the show of threat on [Long Ry],” said Meng Ritha, acting Sam Rainsy Party secretary general.
Long Ry was with Piseth Peaklica’s brother-in-law, Each Chandara, when the two were attacked and beaten by men identified as military police the night of July 10.
Sam Rainsy Party officials say that attack was meant to scare Each Chandara, who periodically acted as Piseth Peaklica’s bodyguard and whose 7-year-old daughter was wounded in the actress’s shooting.
Long Ry said two unidentified men began to follow him Tuesday at around 8:30 pm and that he sought refuge in the party headquarters on Sothearos Boulevard. There, Long Ry claims some 50 Flying Tiger and regular police officers—some in civilian clothing—surrounded the compound.
But Kek Galabru, president of the Licadho human rights group, said Wednesday that her staff found no evidence of police officers when they arrived at the headquarters around 10 pm.