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

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release