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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09:22 ICT Jul 16

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

09:26 ICT Jul 16

There are barricades to the north and south of the court as there were for the Free the 23 trials. A crowd of around 500 has gathered at the northern end.

Updated at 09:46 ICT

09:31 ICT Jul 16

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

09:58 ICT Jul 16

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

10:01 ICT Jul 16

The CNRP press conference has now finished. Kem Sokha asked for all CNRP politicians present to prepare to go to the Municipal Court shortly.

10:09 ICT Jul 16

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

10:12 ICT Jul 16

Freelance journalist Kevin Doyle is following today's events. Like the supporters outside the court, he notes the political significance of today's events.

10:16 ICT Jul 16

At the southern barricades, at least 500 supporters have gathered and are beginning to make their voices heard.

Updated at 10:17 ICT

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