Sorcery Couple Receive New Death Threats
By | November 15, 2013

Almost three-and-a-half-months after being expelled from their village for allegedly practicing sorcery, an ethnic Jarai minority couple is again under pressure to leave their new home from villagers fearful the pair possesses evil powers.

Romas Vem, 80, and his wife, Sev Soy, 50, who are alleged by locals to have supernatural powers, were chased out of their village by hundreds of angry neighbors after a handful of people in O’Yadaw district’s Somtrak Thmey village fell ill in August. The couple have now received death threats and are being pressured into leaving the nearby village of Somtrak Chas.

“Since they both have to live in temporary housing at another village, they have faced new threats against their lives since people there do not welcome their presence, fearing the couple will again use black magic to make them ill or kill them,” O’Yadaw district police chief Ma Vichet said Thursday.

Mr. Vichet said district police are scheduled to meet today for the fourth time with local authorities and elder Jarai members with influence over the community at the Som Thom commune office in an effort to secure the couple’s safety.

“At [the] meeting, we will decide to form a sub-committee to solve the matter of threat against people’s lives who are alleged to be a sorcerer,” he said.

“Some beliefs and traditional practices being implemented by indigenous minorities should have been eradicated, such as this case of sorcery,” Mr. Vichet added.

Romas Chhoeun, the accused sorcerer’s grandson, said he hoped his grandfather finds a home where he will be safe.

“We don’t want them to be expelled from place to place. They legally own the land in their home village, so they have legal rights to live there, but they have been intimidated and threatened with being chopped to death,” 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 written permission.

LATEST

A group of about 30 district security guards brutally assaulted a small contingent of CNRP supporters and onlookers on Monday morning near Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park.

Cambodia’s beleaguered fire department may have a future high-tech solution to its problems after a team of young scientists from Norton University competing in the 4th Malaysian International Robot Competitions last week placed third in the Fire Fighting Robot category.

A provincial court has charged him with treason. The government wants him arrested as soon as he steps foot inside the country. Prime Minister Hun Sen has branded his group a terrorist organization bent on the bloody overthrow of the government.

The government is on the verge of signing a multi-year contract worth at least $50 million with a Malaysian defense contractor to overhaul and maintain its fleet of T-55 tanks, according to Malaysian state news agency Bernama.

A police officer who has been implicated in a fatal hit-and-run has been asked by local police in Kandal province to come to their office and negotiate a settlement for the victims’ families, police said Sunday.

The Cambodia Daily | All the News Without Fear or Favor | The Daily Newspaper of Record Since 1993