US Calls for Transparent Investigation Into Protester Shooting

The U.S. on Monday called for a full and transparent investigation into the killing of a 29-year-old man by security forces on Sunday night during a heated clash around Monivong Bridge, while the European Union said that the police should show more re­straint in the future.

U.S. Embassy spokesman John Simmons said the U.S. hopes that such a tragedy is not repeated and said that an investigation into the killing of Mao Chan, who is a father of four, must be transparent.

“The predominantly peaceful demonstration on Sunday was overshadowed by the incident late in the day at the [Monivong] Bridge, which led to the death of one young Cambodian man and the injury of several other Cam­bodians. That incident was tragic and avoidable. The U.S. Embassy understands from the Royal Government that an investigation is being conducted into the incident,” Mr. Simmons said in an email.

“We call on authorities to en­sure that the investigation is full and transparent, so that steps can be taken to prevent similar tragedies in the future. We urge all parties to refrain from violence, and to work to resolve differences constructively,” he added.

Mao Chan was shot in the head and at least nine other men were injured in the violence, which witnesses said was sparked after angry protesters, who were prevented from crossing the bridge, began throwing stones at security forces at about 9:30 p.m.

In an emailed statement representing the views of all E.U. embassies in Cambodia, E.U. Ambassador Jean-Francois Cautain highlighted the disproportionate use of force against protesters.

“We are concerned at the violent clashes that took place between police and protesters in Phnom Penh yesterday, and are deeply saddened at reports that these resulted in the death of one man and injuries to others,” Mr. Cautain said.

“We call on all sides to exercise restraint and avoid violence. In particular, we call on the authorities to use proportionate means to manage protests, and call on demonstrators to conduct their protests in a lawful and peaceful manner,” he said.

Mr. Cautain also welcomed the meeting held Monday between Prime Minister Hun Sen and CNRP president Sam Rainsy, saying that the E.U. encourages both parties “to pursue this political dialogue so that the ongoing dispute over the July elections can be resolved as soon as possible.”

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