The Battambang Provincial Court has summoned outspoken former opposition commune chief Sin Chanpeou Rozeth for questioning over allegations she violated a Supreme Court order by exercising her political rights without permission.
Rozeth was elected chief of Battambang City’s O’Cha commune for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) at the June 2017 local elections but lost her position when the Supreme Court dissolved the party about five months later.
An April 24 summons signed by deputy provincial court prosecutor Keu Bunnara orders her to appear at the court for questioning on May 9 over claims that she continues to “resist the Supreme Court’s verdict dated November 16, 2017.”
The November 2017 Supreme Court decision to dissolve the CNRP also banned 118 of the party’s top officials from taking part in political activities for five years — despite the apparent right to such activities under the Constitution — and Prime Minister Hun Sen has repeatedly warned those banned not to defy the orders.
However, Rozeth was not among the 118 banned and the court summons does not specify how she violated the decision handed down by the Supreme Court.
Rozeth could not be reached for comment.
However, on her Facebook page, the popular former O’Char commune chief said that she had ceased her political activities and was confused by the summons.
“I was not banned from my political rights,” Rozeth wrote. “But I have not taken part in any political activities because the [opposition] party has not yet come back.”
“I’ve never met people to deliver political messages since the party was dissolved.”
After the CNRP’s dissolution, Rozeth opened a restaurant with her family that has since become a trendy destination for locals and opposition supporters visiting Battambang province alike. She has also parlayed her large public following into moonlighting as a handbag retailer, often spruiking her wares to her followers on Facebook Live.
(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)