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Two More Opposition Members Face ‘Insurrection’ Charges

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

A Cambodian lawmaker from the main opposition party of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Mu Sochua, center, gestures to make the number seven, the party's ballot number, before being detained by authorities at Freedom Park, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Three lawmakers from the opposition CNRP were detained and sent to police headquarters for leading about a hundred of their supporters to demonstrate in front of the park, asking authorities to open the site to the public. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

A Cambodian lawmaker from the main opposition party of Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) Mu Sochua, center, gestures to make the number seven, the party's ballot number, before being detained by authorities at Freedom Park, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. Three lawmakers from the opposition CNRP were detained and sent to police headquarters for leading about a hundred of their supporters to demonstrate in front of the park, asking authorities to open the site to the public. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

<p>Two more opposition members were arrested Thursday over a demonstration that turned violent in Phnom Penh this week.</p> <p>Cambodia National Rescue Party members Long Ry and Nuth Rudoul were charged with insurrection and incitement of violence and are being held by municipal authorities.</p> <p>That brings the total number of Rescue Party members in the case to eight, including senior leader Mu Sochua, who holds a US passport.</p> <p>Opposition supporters turned on city security guards on Tuesday morning, after they were barred from entering Freedom Park, which has been closed to protesters since a January ban on public assembly.</p> <p>Arrests of Rescue Party leaders swiftly followed, on charges that could total up to 30 years in prison.</p> <p>In a statement, Human Rights Watch condemned Tuesday&rsquo;s violence and called for the release of the opposition members and dismissal of &ldquo;trumped-up charges.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Opposition supporters, no matter how frustrated they were with having their rally broken up, have no excuse for severely beating security forces,&rdquo; Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said. &ldquo;Yet that&rsquo;s no basis for the authorities to charge CNRP politicians with inciting violence, much less absurd counts like &lsquo;insurrection.&rsquo; This is just another pretext for threatening opposition leaders with prison.&rdquo;</p>

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