battambang – A Sam Rainsy Party supporter was insulted and physically attacked by an alleged CPP loyalist after returning home from a political rally Friday, party officials and rights workers here claimed Monday.
Neang Nal Siev told a Battambang-based rights worker that she attended a meeting in this provincial capital held by party President Sam Rainsy on Friday morning. She told him she returned to her house in Sdau, a market town on the road to Pailin, and was cooking a meal when a neighbor came by to ask about the rally.
“She said the neighbor was just asking if she received any gifts from Sam Rainsy when another man showed up and called [Neang Nal Siev] a whore for foreigners and a whore of Sam Rainsy’s,” the rights worker said in an interview Monday. “The victim replied, ‘Don’t insult me, I am not a whore!’ and the man punched her on the left eye. Then he grabbed her hair and slammed his knee into her chest.”
The rights worker spoke to the victim and one witness over the weekend. He is still waiting to interview two other witnesses, including neighbors who came to help, but said Monday he believed the attack was politically motivated.
“The victim had not had any dispute with the offenders before. Before beating her up, the offenders spoke about her link to the Sam Rainsy Party,” he said.
Sam Rainsy Party officials claimed the attacker was a CPP group leader and claimed he had beaten Neang Nal Siev unconscious and threatened to kill her.
“This is a serious political threat on Sam Rainsy Party members,” said Lon Phon, party candidate for Battambang. “It caused a physical beating. I have complained to human rights organizations and to the authorities.”
Officials at the Battambang provincial election commission said Monday they had not been informed of the incident.
Police officers in Battambang were also unaware of the attack. Chan Kosal, provincial police commander, radioed from his office to the local station in Rattanak Mondul district to ask for more information from inspectors in charge of Sdau town.
“We haven’t received any complaint and we have no knowledge of the attack,” the district inspector said over the radio to Chan Kosal. Chan Kosal ordered the district police to investigate.
“Why doesn’t Sam Rainsy complain to the local authorities of the PEC?” he said.
CPP organizers in the town had not been informed of the attack and said it would be a matter for the police. Prom Sophan, deputy president of Battambang CPP headquarters, referred to an earlier complaint made by Sam Rainsy Party members that explosives had been delivered to a party rally in the town.
“When the police examined them, it was nothing, not explosives, just fuses,” he said. “These kind of made-up incidents blame the CPP and insult the CPP.”
A statement from the Sam Rainsy Party on Monday said the packages were fuses and not actual explosives.