My dear Kacvey,

Let continue the “War of Words” series (Part I on 20 March 2015, and Part II on 15 November 2015) as the heat has again intensified in the City of Tonlé Bun Mouk between the “stars” of the two main parties with the introduction by the autocratic ruler of a short phrase: “imprisoned forever.”

First and foremost, this is what “to imprison” and “forever” (or “for ever”) are defined in the English dictionary:
– “to imprison”: to put (someone) in or as if in prison; to put someone in a place and not let them out;
– “forever”: for a very long time; for an endless time; for all time; eternally; without ever ending; for ever lasting time.

You may ask what is the relevancy of the context for such definitions?

It is simply because – Thanks to the Cambodia Daily for its reporting! – the autocratic ruler had, on Wednesday 27 June 2016, told the world that wishes (or doesn’t) to hear him that the ex-vice-president of the NA, now confined in his party headquarters, could be “imprisoned forever.” You may as well open up a discussion with your law school students on the legal and institutional implications of this short phrase, albeit the nonsensical order from the ministry of education to ban any political discussion in the classroom.

For now, how about making a vivisection of that short phrase to find out what would it imply or mean to the two of them for now or later?

According to The Cambodia Daily, the autocratic ruler publicly and emphatically said that “I want to send you the message that you will be imprisoned forever,” “I” being himself, and “you” the now-confined ex-vice-president of the NA.
So saying, the autocrat confirms what the whole world has known since ever that:
– he holds all the power in the country;
– the justice system is in his hands and the court is there to execute his order;
– he already pronounces the guilty verdict and sets the sentence even before the start of the judicial proceedings;
– he is the supreme lord that does not allow any challenge to his realm, and
– he re-ascertains his devotion to Vladimir Lenin’s precept: “Give us the child for 8 years, it will be Bolshevik for ever.”

So far, nothing surprises anybody because, as an ex-communist and ex-KR, he always feeds on hatred, hostile and violent behavior, aggression and imprisonment of those who dare oppose him and his regime. But does he know that:
– for already 31 years, he imprisons himself in his own belief and self-aggrandisement, being blind to what has been constantly happening around and everywhere;
– he has been going through political life without the trust of a very large segment of the population because he is imprisoned in the worst cell of all, himself?
– a broken bone can heal, but the wound the “imprisoned forever” words open will fester forever?
– if he imprisoned a man “forever,” could he also imprison that man’s mind and soul?
– if he imprisoned a man for political view and without armed violence, he shackled the whole nation with fear, revulsion, horror and aversion to his regime? and
– history has taught sane spirit that no dictator can hold an imprisoned population by force of arms and injustice forever?

Well, Kacvey, he who boasts about abiding the law, but turns out to be the one who uses the law as a toilet seat, can never rise higher than he has so far risen. The hash reality is that there is a limit or an end to everything.

Why, then, does he condemn and plan to imprison the now-confined ex-vice-president of the NA “forever” for a made-up crime that has so far not proved anything yet? Whatever crime the latter might have committed, if ever, where does it say that that “crime” would make him serve jail time for perpetuity? Would the punishment fit the crime? When insanity gallops in one’s mind, it just can’t stop it, can it?

As “forever” is a long time span for whoever knows the notion of universal time, the autocrat must have a belief of super-natural power by which he can challenge the law of nature of life and death. The axioms by which “nobody lives forever,” “nothing can exist for ever” and “nothing lasts forever (even one’s trouble or blessing)” seem to be not in the autocrat’s book of wisdom, if any. Kacvey, do you recall the mythological tale how Atlas was “for ever” turned to stone by Zeus, and as a punishment, to stay on the edge of Earth holding up Heaven from preventing both of them to embrace each other? Any voluntary sculptor to execute and erect stone statues of the watchdog and the incarcerated in front of another “S-21” to eternize their “War of Words.” Well, “forever” one may live outside or inside the prison, the fact remains that Cambodia is bigger than the jailed or the jailor.

William Howard Taft,once, said “Presidents come and go, but the Supreme Court goes on forever.” Even the sun sets in paradise.

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Update:
On 2 December 2016, the king pardoned Kem Sokha as reported by:
The Cambodia Daily: Kem Sokha Granted Royal Pardon at Hun Sen’s Request
The Phnom Penh Post: Royal pardon for Kem Sokha