Published March 17, 2013
VOA Khmer’s Men Kimseng interviews Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando, who was released from prison Friday after serving eight months in prison, on charges that he says were politically motivated and without evidence. He was accused of fomenting a secessionist movement in Kratie province last year, but rights groups say the charges from the court came only after he publicly criticized Hun Sen.
Mam Sonando told VOA Khmer in an interview his freedom was a small thing, but that he would continue broadcasting news to Cambodians and would continue his work with the Association of Democrats, a civic group he says aims at informing people about rights and democracy. He is not planning on joining any political parties, despite broad support from the public. On his release from prison Friday, supporters outside the jail chanted, “hero,” after the courts accused him of stirring a secessionist movement last year.
The Appeals Court on Thursday said it was dropping some of the most serious charges against him, but it gave him a five-year suspended sentence on charges related to deforestation that were added by the prosecutor. His lawyer says he will appeal this new sentence.