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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More