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

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    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.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora