Amnesty International on Wednesday condemned the deaths and injuries resulting from police efforts to break up demonstrations around Cambodia’s capital.
“Peoples’ lives are yet again being put at risk in Phnom Penh. The use of violence by the police to disperse demonstrators is unacceptable and should be avoided at all costs,” the London-based human rights group said in a statement. “It only serves to provoke and increase tension in an already volatile situation.”
The statement was released shortly after police used water cannons and fired warning shots to disperse dozens of monks and students protesting in front of the US Embassy on Wednesday. One 30-year-old man was killed Monday night during a protest at the Hotel Sofitel Cambodiana. The man died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head.
The human rights group expressed worry that police actions and further deaths would only incite more violence: “We fear an escalation of violence and call on all sides in the current political crisis to exercise restraint and to make efforts to resolve their differences peacefully,” the statement said.
The statement also called for a “proper and full investigation” into Monday’s grenade attack on Second Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Phnom Penh residence.
The group also asked the international community, particularly the EU, Asean, US, Japan and Australia, to condemn the killings and urge the Cambodian government to protect human rights to assemble and protest.