PHNOM PENH —
Two opposition lawmakers who were attacked outside the National Assembly last month have filed a complaint of attempted murder against their assailants.
The courts are currently holding three men who turned themselves in not long after the attacks on Nhay Chamroeun and Kong Saphea, both members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party.
Both lawmakers say the severity of the attacks—in which they were pulled from their vehicles by masked men and then punched, kicked and stomped on—constitutes attempted murder. They have sued for $25,000 each in damages, and are asking for charges that would mean lifetime imprisonment for their assailants.
“Demonstrators were trying to kill me,” Kong Saphea wrote in his complaint. “Without the help of journalists and citizens, the demonstrators would have killed me for sure.”
Last week, three men—Chay Sarith, 33; Mao Hoeurn 34; and Suth Vanny, 45—turned themselves to police and confessed to the attacks. They have been charged with assault.
However, Nhay Chamroeun told VOA Khmer on Wednesday from Bangkok, where he and Kong Saphea are receiving medical treatment, that they are not satisfied with the charges, which prompted their own suit.
Choung Choungy, a lawyer for the two men, said the complaints were filed yesterday. It is not limited to any individuals and would apply to the investigation, he said. He also said it was clear that the alleged attackers were among a group of anti-opposition demonstrators that had gathered outside the National Assembly on the morning of the attack.
Those demonstrations had been encouraged by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, and Human Rights Watch has condemned the attacks as similar to CPP tactics used against the opposition in the 1990s.
In a speech last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen said the attack had been prompted by the lawmakers’ using racial slurs against the men, angering them, a claim both victims deny.