Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Veng Sreng protesters' appeal rejected

Veng Sreng protesters' appeal rejected

Protesters chant on Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Boulevard in front of fires during garment industry protests that turned violent in January 2014.
Protesters chant on Phnom Penh’s Veng Sreng Boulevard in front of fires during garment industry protests that turned violent in January 2014. Pha Lina

Veng Sreng protesters' appeal rejected

The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the convictions of 13 protesters from 2014’s deadly Veng Sreng Boulevard riots on charges ranging from incitement to intentional violence, a ruling slammed by a rights group for glossing over the role of security forces, who shot dead at least four and injured dozens that day.

The 13 were arrested on January 3, 2014, for participating in minimum wage protests that turned violent, ultimately culminating in the fatal crackdown by security forces.

All were given suspended sentences that May for destroying property and injuring police, while no member of the security forces has ever been sanctioned over the violence.

During last week’s hearing, which was conducted without the presence of the defendants or their lawyers, police claimed that authorities used no weapons during the crackdown, contrary to reams of evidence from video and eyewitnesses.

Senior Licadho investigator Am Sam Ath said that the court’s decision “shows how the culture of impunity continues for weak and innocent people, because the authorities who cracked down and killed over and over again are not held responsible”.

However, presiding judge Chay Chandaravan defended the ruling, saying there was substantial evidence indicating that protestors were guilty of destroying public property and rock-throwing, which blinded one security forces member.

“If [the defendants] are unhappy, they can go to the Supreme Court,” he said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all