PHNOM PENH —
Phnom Penh Municipal Court has sentenced another opposition activist to prison, for charges connected to demonstrating.
The activist, Uk Pich Samnang, 51, was sentenced to two years, for “causing violence” and “opposing public servants.”
Am Sam Ath, technical supervisor for the rights group Licadho, said the judgment came down despite a lack of clear evidence and likely due to political pressure on the courts, “to deter the feeling of other supporters of the opposition in taking part in other activities.”
As part of the verdict, announced by Judge Im Vannak, Uk Pich Samnang was also ordered to pay 4 million riel, about $1,000, to the state, and 10 million riel in compensation to five members of a security force allegedly injured amid the protest, which took place October 2014.
Uk Pich Samnang is accused of driving a tuk-tuk full of protesters through an iron barricade as they attempted to submit a petition to Prime Minsiter Hun Sen in a land eviction. At least 18 protesters were injured in the ensuing clash, in which security forces used clubs and shock batons.
Uk Pich Samang will appeal the decision, his lawyer said.