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Cambodian park remains off limits as political party supporters beaten by security guards

On the morning of Monday 21 April 2014, at least ten Cambodian National Rescue Party ("CNRP") supporters and onlookers were beaten, including four seriously injured, by private security guards, as elected CNRP Member of Parliament Ms. Mu Sochua was chased away from Freedom Park in the Kingdom of Cambodia's ("Cambodia") capital, Phnom Penh. Many of the people injured were present to photograph and videotape the events. Ms. Mu Sochua has previously been denied access to Freedom Park by private security guards at least five times since she began her campaign in early April 2014 to retake Freedom Park in protest of the Royal Government of Cambodia's (the "RGC") indefinite ban on demonstrations in Freedom Park.

Freedom Park was established as a place for people to exercise their freedoms of assembly and expression. It has been blocked since the last CNRP mass demonstrations on 4 January 2014, and, since then, those who have tried to enter the Park to hold demonstrations have been violently chased away. Banning demonstrations in Freedom Park and elsewhere in Cambodia directly violates the RGC's domestic and international legal obligations to protect and promote freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

Moreover, private security guards have repeatedly been involved in violent crackdowns on protestors. They are often armed with batons and metal bars and are usually recognizable by their nondescript uniforms and black helmets. According to Long Dimanche, the Phnom Penh Municipal spokesman, these civilian security guards have had no security training. Moreover, as the untrained security forces are privately hired, once they employ violence, as is often the case, there is no way of knowing whom they are accountable to, which reinforces the culture of impunity.


For further information see CCHR's Briefing Note on restrictions on freedom of assembly and take action by supporting CCHR's Where Is My Justice? campaign.

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