Six Sent to Court Following Clashes With Police
By and | September 17, 2013

Officials at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday questioned six men accused of using violence against authorities when protesters clashed with security forces near Phnom Penh’s Monivong Bridge in fighting that saw a 29-year-old man shot dead.

The men were arrested Sun­day night, at the end of a day of demonstrations at Freedom Park and marches in the city led by the opposition CNRP.

Sanh Samoeun, 28; Ngugen Thi Dek, 20; Ek Chan Nu, 17; Tang Chongseang, 18; Song Nisai, 20; and Var Noeun, 20, were detained by Interior Ministry police late Sunday night and sent to court for questioning on Monday, said Interior Ministry penal police chief Lour Sokha.

“Police sent them to the court for questioning on Monday, but I don’t know whether they were charged or not,” Mr. Sokha said.

Court clerk Kem Cheng said the six men had been questioned by deputy prosecutor Sieng Sok and sent to investigating Judge Suos Sam Ath for further questioning.

“Deputy prosecutor Sieng Sok has questioned them and sent them to the investigating judge,” he said.

Chan Soveth, senior investigator for rights group Adhoc, who arrived at the scene of the clashes shortly before 7 p.m. on Sunday, said the arrests happened between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.—shortly after Mao Chan, a commuter, was shot in the head and killed during an escalation in tensions between protesters and anti-riot forces.

“Around 8:30 [p.m.], a group of military police arrived. They opened the road…and they [made the] arrests,” Mr. Soveth said, putting the number of police at 1,000.

In a statement Monday, a group of 10 civil society organizations, including Adhoc and the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, called for the immediate release of the six men.

“At around 8:30 p.m., the victims moved razor-wire barricades in order to open up the road, and violence resulted when police fired tear gas, threw smoke grenades and fired live bullets into a crowd caught in the traffic jam, causing one death, eight injuries and six arrests,” the statement says.

“Please release the people who were arrested during the accident,” it says.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said that his party had also requested that the men be freed.

“We appeal to the government authorities to release the six men who were arrested on Sunday,” he said, adding that the CNRP would launch its own investigation into whether the individuals had been CNRP supporters or mere bystanders.

(Additional reporting by Mech Dara)

© 2013, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

LATEST

In the first test of new, wide-reaching rules that give National Assembly President Heng Samrin the power to decide who is allowed to enter the assembly grounds, a prominent government critic was allowed to meet with the parliamentary Anti-Corruption Commission on Friday.

Three Thai nationals, including a military commander, were arrested Friday by Battambang provincial police for being in possession of more than $7 million in counterfeit U.S. dollars, police said.

Global fashion brands have waded into the fray over setting a new minimum wage for Cambodia’s 600,000 garment workers, committing for the first time to pay higher prices for stock so workers can receive “a fair living wage.”

Construction workers and police in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district on Thursday discovered on a jobsite three boxes of ammunition believed to be left over from fighting in the 1970s, police and a company representative said.

Holiday travelers will get a preview of Phnom Penh’s new Cambodia-China Friendship bridge during the final days of the Pchum Ben festival, according to City Hall.

The Cambodia Daily | All the News Without Fear or Favor | The Daily Newspaper of Record Since 1993