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Trial of Detained Labor Activists Resumes

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Supporters shout slogans on a blocked main street near the Phnom Penh Municipality Court during a gathering to call for the release of anti-government protesters who were arrested in a police crackdown, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Nearly two dozen of Cambodia's anti-government protesters were arrested earlier this year in connection with social unrest. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Supporters shout slogans on a blocked main street near the Phnom Penh Municipality Court during a gathering to call for the release of anti-government protesters who were arrested in a police crackdown, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, May 6, 2014. Nearly two dozen of Cambodia's anti-government protesters were arrested earlier this year in connection with social unrest. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday continued a trial against 23 labor activists who were arrested during demonstrations in May, questioning three people for their roles in demonstration violence outside a factory in January.

An estimated 1,000 riot police were deployed to main streets surrounding the courthouse, as around 100 supporters gathered to call for the release of all 23. No clashes were reported outside the court.

Meanwhile, inside the courtroom, three defendants were questioned by the court for violence that took place outside the Yak Ching factory in January.

The accused told the court they had been beaten by special forces personnel from Brigade 911.

However, Am Sam Ath, chief investigator for the rights group Licadho, said the court’s questions appeared biased. He said he was doubtful the 23 accused would receive justice “if the court is still biased.”

More hearings will continue May 20.
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