Cambodia’s Ruling Party to Take Legal Action Against Woman For Throwing Shoe

A video shows Sam Sokha hurling her footwear at a Cambodian People’s Party billboard featuring a photo of Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (R) and president of the National Assembly Heng Samrin (L) pray to Buddhist monks during a Cambodian People's Party (CPP) ceremony marking the 38th anniversary of the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in Phnom Penh, Jan. 7, 2017.

UPDATED at 2:02 P.M. EST on 2017-04-14

Cambodia’s ruling party will take legal action against a woman who threw a shoe at a party billboard featuring photos of Prime Minister Hun Sen and a high-ranking parliamentary official, a Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman said Monday.

Video clips posted on Facebook show 38-year-old Sam Sokha from Kampong Speu province throwing her shoe at the billboard which also featured a photo of Heng Samrin, president of the National Assembly.

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the party will not address Sam Sokha’s “morality” but will take legal action against her because of her intent to curse its leaders.

“She threw the shoe twice at the billboard, so that indicates that she intended to do it, and we will not let her get away with this,” he said.

“We will not correct her mistake, but the court needs to take legal action against her so that no one else dares to do like she did,” he said. “As you know, the two leaders are members of the nation’s elites.”

The CCP office in Kampong Speu province to file the complaint against Sam Sokha, Sok Eysan said.

Keo Sothea, court prosecutor for Kampong Speu province, issued a summons on April 8 for Sam Sokha to appear before provincial police commissioner Sam Samuon by June 8.

Sam Samuon told local media that the police are looking for Sam Sokha, and he has issued a public appeal that people stop her or immediately report to authorities if they see her.

RFA’s Khmer Service was unable to reach either man for comment.

Sok Sam Oeun, chief attorney of the AMRIN Law and Consultants Group, told RFA that it is unreasonable to take legal action against Sam Sokha for throwing her shoe at the CPP billboard.

“I really don’t understand what kind of measure this is to take against her,” he said, adding that she had not committed a serious crime.

Sok Sam Oeun suggested that authorities should merely advise her on proper conduct.

The opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) has said that Sam Sokha is not one of its activists.

Reported by Tha Thai for RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Sarada Taing. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.