News / Asia

Clashes Erupt Between Cambodian Opposition, Security Forces

  • Mu Sochua raises her hands showing a seven-finger sign, representing her party, to supporters from inside a police compound, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • Opposition MP-elect Mu Sochua delivers a speech at a peaceful rally near Freedom Park before it turns violent, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • Opposition activists and human rights officials protect a security guard from being attacked by angry protesters, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • Police stop an SUV carrying MP-elect Mu Sochua and other opposition lawmakers when they try to leave the rally site, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • A security guard, severely beaten by angry protesters, is being taken away in a UN car for treatment, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • Caps, clothes and wooden batons allegedly belonging to security guards were found after the guards left them and ran away, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • Angry protesters set fire to clothes belonging to security guards after the guards left them and fled the scene, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • Police stop an SUV carrying MP-elect Mu Sochua and other opposition lawmakers when they try to leave the rally site, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)
  • Police close gates after taking MP-elect Mu Sochua into their compound, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, July 15, 2014. (Khoun Theara/VOA)

Cambodia Protest

Theara Khoun

Clashes between security forces and Cambodian opposition supporters in Phnom Penh have left nearly 60 people injured.  

The violence occurred early Tuesday when Mu Sochua, an elected member of parliament from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, led hundreds of supporters to Freedom Park, which has been closed to rallies since January.

A group of security guards moved to beat back the protesters when they tried to hang a banner on the razor wire barring entry to the park.

Cambodian lawmakers from the main opposition party of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), from right, Men Sothavrin, Mu Sochua and Keo Phirum gesture to make the number seven, the party's ballot number, as they are detained by authorities at Freedom PaCambodian lawmakers from the main opposition party of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), from right, Men Sothavrin, Mu Sochua and Keo Phirum gesture to make the number seven, the party's ballot number, as they are detained by authorities at Freedom Pa
x
Cambodian lawmakers from the main opposition party of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), from right, Men Sothavrin, Mu Sochua and Keo Phirum gesture to make the number seven, the party's ballot number, as they are detained by authorities at Freedom Pa
Cambodian lawmakers from the main opposition party of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), from right, Men Sothavrin, Mu Sochua and Keo Phirum gesture to make the number seven, the party's ballot number, as they are detained by authorities at Freedom Pa

The protesters, however, fought back and about 40 security guards were injured in the ensuing violence.  According to witnesses, some were stripped of their uniforms while others were beaten with flags.

Mu Sochua, who was arrested along with other opposition officers, said in an interview with VOA's Khmer service she was trying to reopen Freedom Park for rallies and protests.

“As members of parliament elect we have fulfilled our roles, and once again we are here to ask for the release of Freedom Park and we will send this message to the Interior Ministry," said Sochua.

Long Dimanche, a spokesman for the city of Phnom Penh, blamed Rescue Party supporters for the violence and said its leaders could face criminal charges.

“Phnom Penh municipality vigorously condemns the use of violence by the youth group of the National Rescue Party on Daun Penh security guards," said Dimanche.

The clashes ended when gas canisters were fired into the crowd.
 
Am Sam Ath, lead investigator for the rights group Licadho, said the violence demonstrates a “deep hatred” that has developed between protesters and guards.

“This is the result of anger being built up so far.  Now, when it is ripe they simply fight each other.  This is the result of cultivating the culture of violence.  On behalf of civil society group we urge both sides to renounce violence because nobody will benefit from it," said Ath.

Freedom Park was closed as part of a larger ban on public assembly following major pro-labor and pro-opposition demonstrations in January.
 
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (1)
Comments
     
by: Bubba from: Long Beach
July 15, 2014 4:28 PM
Hun Sen and his regime are evil people. Each day, the only know how of Hun Sen and his regime is to terrorize innocent people. They use deadly forces to evict land and house from hundreds of thousands of innocent Cambodia people and sold to foreigners and keep all the money to themselves. Cambodian people are very poor and they don't have land to grow food for their survival. Hun Sen kills anybody that tries to do good thing for the society; for example, they slaughtered people that tried to protect the forest from illegal logging. They kill innocent people that protest for freedom, as you can see now. Initially, Hun Sen regime/police starts beating the protesters that makes the protesters to defend themselves.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid