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Bail granted to ‘protesters’ arrested at overpass

Two alleged protesters arrested during violence at the Kbal Thnal overpass are brought into court on September 16
Two alleged protesters arrested during violence at the Kbal Thnal overpass are brought into court on September 16. PHA LINA

Bail granted to ‘protesters’ arrested at overpass

All six civilians charged in connection with the September clashes at the Kbal Thnal overpass have been granted bail, a rights monitor said yesterday.

Four of them were released from Prey Sar prison yesterday and two are set to be released today, Licadho technical supervisor Am Sam Ath said.

“We were surprised with the release, because the lawyers did not know anything, even though they filed for bail on September 30,” he said.

“But we welcome their release and urge the court to consider dropping the charges against these men.”

On the first night of the opposition party’s three-day mass demonstration, clashes broke out at the overpass between police and residents angry at being blocked from crossing the bridge. Over the course of several hours, the violence escalated, with riot police fighting back at rock-throwers using electric prods, batons, gas canisters and, eventually, live ammunition. One man was fatally shot and multiple people injured, though a promised police investigation has yet to yield any perpetrators.

The six men were detained at the scene of the clashes and charged a day later with intentional violence and damage to public property. Their lawyers maintain there is little to link them to the incident.

Suos Sam Ath, investigating judge on the case, could not be reached for comment.

Taing Ny, whose 18-year-old son Tang Chung Seang is among those charged, said she was looking forward to seeing her son return to high school and stressed his innocence.

“For certain he did not join that demonstration that night. He was coming to get me, because I was stuck at the overpass after I left my market stall for the evening. My son came to find me, then he was arrested,” she said. “His case should be dropped.”

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