The day after Freedom Park violence: Five MPs at Court
After violent clashes between security guards and Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) supporters at Freedom Park yesterday, 5 CNRP lawmakers-elect have been brought to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for questioning. The court is heavily barricaded but CNRP supporters are gathering at the barricades. The CNRP are also holding a press conference this morning in response to yesterday’s events. Follow events as they unfold. (Khmer language available)
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The 5 CNRP politicians are:
- Mu Sochua, lawmaker-elect, Battambang
- Men Thavrith, lawmaker-elect, Kampong Thom
- Keo Phearum, lawmaker-elect, Kratie
- Ho Vann, lawmaker-elect, Phnom Penh
- Real Khemrin, lawmaker-elect, Svay Rieng
The first three were arrested yesterday morning during the violent clashes which broke out at a CNRP-organised demonstration to protest the months-long closure of Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park. Ho Vann was arrested later in the day when he voluntarily attended the police station and Real Khemrin was arrested this morning. They arrived at court shortly after 7 am with a heavy police and military police presence.
Updated at 11:02 ICT
The CNRP press conference is underway and is being chaired by party leader Kem Sokha. He has said that the violence at Freedom Park yesterday was started by the authorities and that he has evidence to prove it. He has shown video footage of yesterday's violence. In the picture above, Sokha is showing a picture of the 5 CNRP politicians with their hands cuffed behind their backs.
Updated at 09:40 ICT
In a letter dated yesterday, the Council of Ministers announced that it will be holding a press conference at 11 am about the violence at Freedom Park. The conference will be chaired by Keo Remy, Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers.
Updated at 09:59 ICT
The CNRP press conference has now finished. Kem Sokha asked for all CNRP politicians present to prepare to go to the Municipal Court shortly.
Supporters call for release of MPs
At the northern barricade, protesters are showing their support for MPs. One supporter tells the crowd she has come from Kampong Chhnang to ask the court to release the MPs. Another asks the court not to detain them for use as a bargaining chip in political negotiations.
Updated at 10:11 ICT
Freelance journalist Kevin Doyle is following today's events. Like the supporters outside the court, he notes the political significance of today's events.
If 5 Cambodian opposition lawmakers are jailed today, it gives Hun Sen strong bargaining chip to force opposition end boycott of parliament— Kevin Doyle (@doyle_kevin) July 16, 2014
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