Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - City cops sing praises of protest crackdowns




City cops sing praises of protest crackdowns

A man is grabbed and beaten by security forces near Phnom Penh's Freedom Park during a 2014 demonstration. Post Staff
A man is grabbed and beaten by security forces near Phnom Penh's Freedom Park during a 2014 demonstration. Post Staff

City cops sing praises of protest crackdowns

In an annual report released yesterday, Phnom Penh’s municipal police once again touted their success in preventing demonstrations and strikes by political parties, civil society groups, and unions, whom they referred to as agitators working to topple the government.

Released at a meeting yesterday, the document, which also covered an array of crime statistics, stated that municipal police had upheld their duties to protect residents from terrorists and “enemies planning to topple the government”.

Officers had “prevented political instability, the break-up of the internal unity, reduced violence, prevented mass social disasters and maintained safety,” the report stated before describing the main agitators’ origins.

“The majority of [demonstrations and strikes] have been perpetuated by some politicians, civil society groups, federations and unions that oppose the government.

[They] stoke incitement and attract activists and protesters to call on the government, ministries, institutions, and relevant local authority to solve their demands.

We have paid attention to these strikes and demonstrations and resolved them through cooperation to protect security and safety and keep order.”

Responding yesterday, Cambodia National Rescue Party spokesman Yim Sovann said its members had done “nothing wrong” by demonstrating in a democratic country.

“The Ministry of Interior should play a neutral role and not be the spokesman for the [ruling Cambodian People’s Party],” Sovann said.

“If workers had high enough salaries to support their living, they would not have to protest, and if people didn’t have their land taken away, they would not protest.

They have to understand how this social phenomena works. If we continue to accuse each other, the country will not have peace and social crisis will continue.”

Demonstrations and strikes fell by 35 per cent, from 2,634 in 2014 to 1,509 in 2015, according to Interior Ministry figures released earlier this year.

But curbs on democratic protests should not be celebrated, said Moeun Tola, of rights group Central.

“This is not a good result. In Cambodia at the moment, there are concerns about serious restrictions on freedom of expression, I don’t think that should be cheered,” Tola said.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15