Accessibility links

Breaking News

Opposition Decries Arrest of Prominent Member

An activist of Cambodian National Rescue Party Meach Sovannara, left, gives a speech at 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 cra

The Cambodia National Rescue Party is demanding the release of one of its members, who was arrested Tuesday on an outstanding warrant for his alleged participation in violent protests in July.

Meach Sovannara, a former Radio Free Asia reporter, was questioned for two hours on Tuesday before being held on charges of insurrection, for participation in a major protest outside Freedom Park on July 15.

That protest, which became violent after demonstrators turned on security personnel, led to the eventual political deal between the opposition and ruling party, but only after a number of arrests were made.

Meach Sovannara faces up to 15 years in prison for taking part in the demonstration and allegedly inciting violence there.

His lawyer, however, told the Cambodia Daily they have video evidence that would exonerate him and in fact shows him calling for protesters to refrain from violence.

Rescue Party Vice President Kem Sokha told VOA Khmer Wednesday the arrest was “not acceptable,” and that top leaders of the opposition and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party would be discussing possible release.