His bid for freedom at the Court of Appeal denied yesterday, jailed opposition lawmaker Um Sam An declared that perhaps he was actually safer in prison, in light of the Sunday murder of Kem Ley.
The CNRP politician was challenging the legality of his mid-April arrest in Siem Reap for incitement after he posted “fake” maps indicating Cambodia had ceded territory to Vietnam. As he was led back to his cell, Sam An drew a parallel between Ley’s criticisms of government and his own.
“In prison, it is safer than outside, because if we stay outside, we might face danger like Kem Ley,” he said. “Since Kem Ley dared to criticise the government and the business of [Prime Minister] Hun [Sen’s] family, based on the Global Witness report, and he dares to criticise the border issue, because of those things, they killed him.”
Sam An’s comments mirror those of his party president, Sam Rainsy, who has labelled the killing an assassination.
The court upheld Sam An’s detention, despite his claim of parliamentary immunity.