Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Armed Man at Rally Claimed to Be 'Samdech Bodyguard'

By Mech Dara and Simon Henderson - October 15, 2013 The Cambodia Daily

Authorities carry a gunman who was beaten unconcious
by a mob yesterday during a demostration at a rally
marking World Teachers’ Day at Freedom Park. HENG CHIVOAN

A man apprehended by participants at a rally in Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on Sunday after he was spotted carrying a concealed pistol, signed himself into Calmette Hospital by listing his occupation as “Samdech Bodyguard,” in apparent reference to one of the three leaders of the CPP: Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Chea Sim or National Assembly President Heng Samrin.

Chaos erupted on Sunday when the armed man was confronted at the opposition-aligned Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA) rally, where several leading opposition CNRP members were in attendance, leading to fears the man, identified as 38-year-old Poeurng Choeurn, was intending an as­sas­sination attempt.

But conflicting accounts emerged after the incident about the identity of Poeurng Choeurn, who was wearing a press identification card and had been taking photographs of monks at the rally before he pushed to the front of the crowd and was wrestled to the ground and disarmed.

According to his press card, Poeurng Choeurn is a reporter for the Phnom Penh Municipal Information Department’s [MID] defunct “Mid.P.P” news agency website. MID Director Khuth Samkhann confirmed he is an employee and said he did not know why he was carrying a gun at the rally.

Khieu Kanharith
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith also denied that the Information Ministry sent any armed men to opposition-aligned rallies. But deputy Phnom Penh police chief Chuon Narin later told reporters that Poeurng Choeurn was in fact an undercover police agent who had permission to carry a weapon be­cause he was on assignment at Freedom Park.

Yet staff from the Cambodia Daily on Monday saw the signed, handwritten check-in details of Poeurng Choeurn at Calmette Hospital, in which he stated that his occupation was a “Samdech bodyguard.”

Samdech is the high honorific title largely reserved for use by Mr. Hun Sen, Mr. Sim and Mr. Heng Samrin.

National Police spokesman Kirth Chantharith declined to comment on Poeurng Choeurn’s links to the security forces, as did deputy Phnom Penh police chief Mr. Narin despite having said he was a police agent the day before.

Mr. Samkhann, the director of MID, insisted Monday that Poeurng Choeurn was an MID reporter and said that as far as he was aware, his employee was not acting on behalf of any other covert agency.

“Our institution is not a spy agency, we work like any other newspaper and TV reporters, we have 46 officials working in each of the nine districts in the city and we cover the news and take videos of events such as district governors’ meetings, municipal authorities cleaning the sewers and other City Hall activities,” he said.

“I was surprised that Mr. Chuon Narin claimed he worked as a police spy agent since I do not know anything about this, so perhaps the police made a mistake or got it wrong,” he said.

“I do not know whether he has another job [as a police agent], I just know that he was carrying a gun during the rally and I am shocked as I have never seen that he had a gun before.”

Mr. Samkhann said he had heard that Poeurng Choeurn was no longer in Cambodia as he had been sent to Vietnam for medical treatment due to injuries received at the hands of the crowd.

However, medical staff at Calmette Hospital said that Poeurng Choeurn had only minor injuries and had checked himself out at 12:20 p.m.—less than three hours after he was admitted on Sunday.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said that they had received no updates on why the man had been armed at the rally, while CITA president and outspoken CNRP supporter Roung Chhun, who led the rally, said his organization remained in the dark.

“We still have many doubts about the suspect and we are still not sure whether he was trying to kill me or whether he intended to do anything during the rally,” he said.

© 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without


Anonymous said...

Beur Opposition slap mouy trov salap vear mouy reur pi vign ouy ban, nis chear justice, roger. Ham pdech kom ouy vear sam lap Khmer ban doch knong samay Pol Pot regime.

Anonymous said...

ចោរ ឬ ឃាតករ ដែលធ្លាប់សារភាពពីអង្កាល់ ? សូម្បីតែពួកមេខ្មែរក្រហម ខ្មែរវៀតមិញ អាយ៉ង
យួនសម្លាប់ខ្មែរយ៉ាងរង្គាលវាល់លាននាក់ មាន
ភស្តុតាង និង​ សាក្សីគ្រប់គ្រាន់ ពួកវានៅអង្គុយ
ប្រកែកក្នុងតុលាការធ្វើព្រងើយរាប់ឆ្នាំមកហើយ ។ តួយ៉ាងពួកអា ហ៊ុនសែន ហេងសំរិន ជាសីុម និង បក្សពួកវាមួយចំនួនធំដែលធ្លាប់ជាឃាតករ
បាតដៃប្រឡាក់សុទ្ធតែឈាមខ្មែរ ដែលមានសាក្សី និង ភស្តុតាងគ្រប់គ្រាន់ ពួកវានៅប្រកែកថាមិន
មែន ។ ដែលធ្លាប់ឃើញ ឬ ពួកអាល្បត់ជាតិ
ទេ ?។ ពួកអាកំសាកអស់ហ្នឹង មានតែកម្លាំងប្រ
ជាពលរដ្ឋទេដែលអាចកាត់ទោសពួកវាបាន ។ ពួកឆ្កែបំរើយួនកំសាក ថោកទាប ៕

Anonymous said...

Poeurng Choeurn, in the Calmette Hospital, will see what happen to him soon... you know I mean.

Anonymous said...

~ការបរាជ័យរបស់​​ Peurng Choeurn ​​​​​​​​​​​នឹងនាំមកអោយមានគ្រោះថ្នាក់ដល់រូបខ្លួនឯង!

Anonymous said...

The CPP next move is to kill Poeurng Choeurn to shut him, and then they put the blame on Rong Chhun for his death.

Anonymous said...

I said before and I say now again: Cambodia run by CPP gangster.

Anonymous said...

This is a assassination attempt targeting high rank CNRP officials.

Hun Sen used to say that even if you fart and he know that too! It is definitely this man was sent by Hun Sen and only Hun Sen know!

Anonymous said...

This guy has no business to be there in the first place... besides causing trouble... who knows, it could assination that we have seen in the past by Hun Sen's body guards too. They are up to no good at the rally.