Cambodian land activists arrested for allegedly inciting farmers to hate the rich

Three Cambodian land rights activists who were arrested on charges of plotting against the government planned to provoke a peasant revolution by teaching farmers about class divisions between rich and poor, an official said Tuesday.

Theng Savoeun, president of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community, and his colleagues Nhel Pheap and Than Hach were charged Monday by a court in the country’s northeast with plotting against the state and incitement to commit a felony, said Am Sam Ath of the local rights group Licadho.

He said plotting against the government carries a possible prison term of five to 10 years, while incitement to commit a felony is punishable by six months to two years. He described the charges as sending “a message of intimidation” to civil society groups.

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