Villagers Demand Release of Provincial Hero

Some 200 Dangkao district families picketed Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house and Phnom Penh Municipal Court Monday, protesting the arrest of their village’s deputy chief after he defended villagers from alleged harassment by an officer with the  RCAF. 

More than 200 villagers signed a petition in defense of deputy chief Seng Sakhon, 53, deputy chief of Ta Nguon village in Kakap commune, whom they said was arrested without a warrant Thursday.

“I appeal to Prime Minister Hun Sent to help free my father,” said Yen Srey Moa, 21, Seng Sakhon’s daughter. “My father did nothing wrong.”

On Wednesday, RCAF Captain Mok Teng Saravuth, 42, allegedly became drunk, waved his gun and threatened to kill street vendors on Confederation de la Russie Boulevard, villager Bun Soeun said Monday.

Seng Sakhon tried to reason with the captain but failed. When Seng Sakhon went to look for help, Mok Teng Saravuth chased him and villagers followed. Mok Teng Saravuth then smacked villager Toeng Kimhan, 25, with a handgun, leaving him bleeding from the head, Bun Soeun said.

Seizing his opportunity, Seng Sakhon high-kicked the handgun from Mok Teng Saravuth and turned it over to police, the villager recalled.

The next day, municipal police arrested Seng Sakhon without a warrant, saying he injured Mok Teng Saravuth with his high kick, Yen Srey Moa said.

A warrant was issued Saturday, but municipal judge Hing Thirith said that officials plan to investigate further following the villagers’ protest.

“We accused him of causing an injury, he said. “But we are now reconsidering the case.”

 

 

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