Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Police crackdown on opposition activists condemned

Police crackdown on opposition activists condemned

Police crackdown on opposition activists condemned

Human rights groups condemned the police crackdown on the Khmer Front Party protest

that began in front of Wat Phnom on August 31. ADHOC called the police response,

which included 19 arrests and several beatings, "an abuse of the Constitution

and obstruction of the democratic process in Cambodia".

At least a hundred police were deployed in front of National Assembly and along main

streets to disperse the 25 peaceful demonstrators protesting the Cambodian People's

Party (CPP) victory and Vietnamese border encroachment. The group intended to march

from Wat Phnom to the legislative building. It was stopped on Norodom Blvd.

"We saw that demonstrators never had an opportunity to form a big group,"

a representative from ADHOC said. "It is the people's right of expression to

demand something from the government."

Suth Dina, 32, president of the Khmer Front Party, said he was beaten with electric

batons on his head and body.

"When the police saw us, they rushed in to swing at us," Dina said. "I

feel that the police looked at us as their [opposing] army."

Although the party had sought permission earlier from the Phnom Penh Municipality

to hold the demonstration in front of National Assembly, it was refused.

Dina criticized the municipality for consistently granting permission to pro-CPP

groups such as the Pagoda Boys to "counter-attack" peaceful demonstrators.

The Pagoda Boys were identified by a confidential US State Department report as leaders

in the January 29 anti-Thai riots.

Dina said 20 of the demonstrators were detained for more than 30 hours by police,

but were released the next day

"Now, we are freed, but we are still under pressure and watched by undercover

agents from the CPP," said Dina. "They don't want the democrats to be strong

in Cambodia."

The Cambodia Human Rights Action Committee issued a statement on September 1 that

called on the government to punish individual police officers who used excessive

force.

Moung Khim, deputy chief of Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said there would be no investigation

or punishment of any police.

"Although there was an allegation of police violence against the demonstrators,

the issue is finished," said Khim. "We don't have complaints to investigate

on the issue."

MOST VIEWED

  • Two luxury hotels latest quarantine options for inbound travellers

    The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Covid-19 has designated two luxury hotels as alternative quarantine options for travellers who wish to enter Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport – Sokha Phnom Penh Hotel & Residence and the Courtyard by Marriott Phnom Penh. In a notice detailing guidelines issued

  • Visa A holders get to quarantine at Himawari Hotel

    The Ministry of Health has permitted foreign diplomats, UN and International NGO officials to undergo quarantine at Himawari Hotel in the capital in case they do not have a separate place suitable for this purpose, but the government would not be responsible for the expenses.

  • Jabs for kids bring hope for school reopenings

    Cambodia is tentatively planning to reopen schools – at least at the secondary level – when the vaccination of children aged 12-17 is completed, even though daily transmissions and deaths in other age groups remain high. Schools across the country have been suspended since March 20, one month

  • China denies Mekong hacking

    As the US and its allies joined hands last week to expose what they allege to be China’s Ministry of State Security’s malicious cyber activities around the world, the attention also turned to Cambodia with the US Department of Justice claiming that four

  • Governor: Covid subsides in capital

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng said the Covid-19 situation in the capital’s 14 districts has eased, with only two districts still recording a high number of infections. “Transmission cases in all districts are dropping, though they are relatively higher Meanchey and Por Sen Chey.

  • Hun Sen: Get 12-17 age group ready for Covid jabs

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has told parents of children aged 12-17 in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk to get them ready for vaccinations soon. “There is a need to vaccinate children and youths aged 12 to 17. According to the statistics provided