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Activists give photos, video as evidence of attack

Activists give photos, video as evidence of attack

Land activists who were brutally cracked down on at a protest in September submitted video and pictorial evidence of masked suspects slinging marbles, beating and electric shocking them to Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday.

The group of 70 Borei Keila and Boeung Kak activists are suing Phnom Penh officials for their alleged involvement in the attack on a peaceful vigil at Wat Phnom in September by plain-clothed men as a large security detail stood guard.

Eleven people were injured in the unprompted clash, including journalists and rights workers.

Su Sophal, who sustained injuries from the crackdown, said he and nine other victims filed a lawsuit at the municipal court last month against four Daun Penh district officials: Sok Penhvuth, deputy chief; Kim Vutha, director of order and regulation; Pich Socheata, council official; and Soa Nol, deputy police chief.

“In the morning [yesterday], we took evidence including nine photos and a CD which show the intentional abuse by the suspects … and handed them to the [municipal] court,” Su Sophal said.

Meas Chanpiseth, deputy prosecutor, received the evidence and told the protesters that officials are investigating.

The protesters also submitted the additional evidence to the national police.

Since the Wat Phnom attack on September 22, police and other security officials have frequently employed violence to disrupt land dispute protests, most recently at City Hall on Wednesday.

“The court seems to not take up any measures to protect the land activists who are arrested and detained one after one because of those police officials,” housing rights activist Tep Vanny said.

“However, we hope that the lawsuit will be considered by the court and that the truth will be found. We will get justice.”

Sok Penhvuth, Daun Penh district deputy chief, and Pich Socheata, an official at Daun Penh district hall, could not be reached for comment.

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