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Hospital discharges guards

Civilians face off against government security guards during a violent clash on July 15
Civilians face off against government security guards during a violent clash on July 15. Guards injured in the violence have since recovered. Vireak Mai

Hospital discharges guards

All of the security guards who were injured during a violent protest next to Freedom Park earlier this month, many of whom were said by the government to be in “critical condition” less than two weeks ago, have now been discharged from hospital.

Daun Penh District Governor Kouch Chamroeun said most of the injured Daun Penh district security guards were released last Tuesday, the same day that the Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party reached a deal to end the political deadlock.

“Right now, all of the victims have gone home and will get better. There is just one who continues to receive treatment from home.”

According to Chamroeun, payment for the injured guards’ stay in hospital was footed by “the government and other authorities”.

Meas Phoeun, 58, said he was discharged from Calmette just hours before opposition members charged over their alleged role in the violence were released from prison.

“My head still feels dizzy and I have been sick because one of the wounds on my head still hurts,” he said.

Phoeun said that his family has received more than $1,000 from the Cambodian Red Cross and other “generous people”.

Norm Palla, a deputy village chief also injured in the violence, said he was unsure who paid for his treatment.

“I don’t know if it was the government or City Hall or Daun Penh authorities, but I didn’t pay,” he said.

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy said that while the CPP “looks after them [the security guards] very well”, the same treatment has not been afforded in the past to injured protesters.

“What I deplore is that, on Veng Sreng [Boulevard], dozens were wounded and the Red Cross never visited them,” he said, referring to the deadly crackdown on a garment strike in January.

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said he had “no idea” whether national or municipal authorities had covered the costs of the guards’ treatment but said: “In theory, the hospital has a right to claim this money.”

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