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Opposition Barred Again from Freedom Park

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy, center, of Cambodia National Rescue Party, speaks to garment workers near Freedom Park as his party member holds a portrait photo of a factory worker who was shot dead earlier this year, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, May 1, 2014. Security forces have beaten demonstrators after a May day rally held in defiance of a government ban on public protests in the Cambodian capital. Nearly 1,000 factory workers and supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party had gathered on the streets outside the city's Freedom Park, which had been barred to demonstrators and sealed off. (AP Photo)
Opposition leader Sam Rainsy and a crowd of supporters were blocked from Freedom Park in Phnom Penh on Friday, as they continued repeated attempts to reach the public space.

The president of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party had hoped to push through a government ban on public assembly, joining fellow Rescue Party member Mu Sochua, who has tried repeatedly to enter the park, a designated space for public assembly.

The ban on gatherings has been in place since a government crackdown on demonstrations that left at least four people dead. On Thursday, bystanders and journalists were beaten by security personnel deployed to keep people out of the park.

A heavy contingent of police and security personnel were deployed around Freedom Park Friday to prevent anyone entering.