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Opposition Upset as Prosecution Over July Violence Continues

Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen (2nd R) shakes hands with Sam Rainsy (2nd L), president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), after a meeting at the Senate in central Phnom Penh July 22, 2014.

Opposition leaders say they are not happy with the court’s continued prosecution of a case against their members for violent clashes in July, claiming it is a violation of the spirit of the political agreement they reached with the ruling party late last month.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court has continued to summon opposition officials to appear for questioning over the July 15 violence, when supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party clashed with city security personnel.

The opposition wants to see an end of the prosecution of seven lawmakers for insurrection and incitement by a court widely viewed as biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy told supporters Thursday that July’s political agreements should have ended the case, as well. “If some party activists are still in jail or receiving summonses, it means the political issue has not ended,” he said. “I will find a way to have a solution.”

At least three opposition supporters are still in detention following the July 15 clashes, and the seven lawmakers freed on bail after the political deal are still facing charges that could mean 30 years in prison.

Chheang Von, a lead negotiator for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said Thursday the case was an affair of the court, not the party.