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Protest fallout: Summonses issued over Poipet row

Protest fallout: Summonses issued over Poipet row

The Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court has summonsed two cross-border porters to answer questions as to their involvement in a May customs tax protest that descended into violence, ending with the facade of the local customs office being smashed.

In the July 1 summons, investigating judge Ek Poliphil asks porters Mao Son – who was badly beaten by security forces during the riot – and his wife, Van Sreymom, to appear on July 20 for “questions [about] intentional damage with aggravating circumstances and public property destruction on May 25”.

Sreymom yesterday questioned why only two people were summonsed, but said she would comply with the request.

“My husband and I, who was holding my 2-year-old baby, were just watching the protest on that day, and military police grabbed my husband, dragged him, handcuffed him and beat him seriously until [he was] unconscious,” she said.

City officials initially blamed opposition politician Chao Veasna and unionist Din Puthy for the violence, and Soum Chankea, coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the court may be pursuing charges against them.

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