Yet another Cambodia National Rescue Party supporter was arrested and detained on Saturday after being implicated in a violent protest at Freedom Park in July in which demonstrators turned on notoriously violent Daun Penh district security guards, said police and the rights group Adhoc.
Adhoc senior investigator Chan Soveth said yesterday that tuk-tuk driver and long-time opposition supporter Ouk Pich Samnang was arrested on October 25 while on his way to a meeting with a group of land disputants staying at the Samaki Rainsy pagoda in Phnom Penh.
According to Soveth, Pich Samnang had been placed under judicial supervision following earlier allegations relating to the protest, one provision of which was that he was not allowed to participate in any public protests.
“It means the defendant was not allowed to appear publicly with any demands, but in reality, he participated [in a demonstration] on October 23, Paris [Peace] Accord Day, and that’s the reason he was arrested and sent to Prey Sar,” he said.
In August, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged Pich Samnang with joining an insurrection against public servants and committing intentional violence for his alleged role in the violent protest.
He was arrested on Saturday at the court’s request, said deputy Phnom Penh police chief Chhuon Narin.
“We arrested him on October 25 and sent him to court, and the court decided to detain him in pre-trial detention at Prey Sar prison, but I cannot remember what charges were in the summons,” he said.
CNRP lawmaker Ho Vann, one of a handful of opposition members and activists arrested in the wake of the July protest, said yesterday that Pich Samnang was not officially affiliated with the CNRP but had actively supported the party.
The CNRP has asked two lawyers affiliated with the rights group Licado to defend him, he added.
Several opposition supporters were rounded up and jailed following the July protest, but most were released shortly thereafter as an implicit part of the agreement between the CNRP and ruling Cambodian People’s Party that ended the year-long political deadlock.
However, sporadic arrests of alleged instigators and participants have continued to take place.