Eleven CNRP activists standing trial on insurrection charges over their roles in a violent protest on July 15 last year were found guilty by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Tuesday afternoon and sentenced to between seven and 20 years in prison.
The decision was made in the absence of all but one of the defense lawyers, most of whom were boycotting a decision by the court on Monday to fast-track the trial.
“The court decides to sentence Meach Sovannara, Oeur Narith and Khin Chamroeun to 20 years in prison for leading an insurrection,” Presiding Judge Lim Makaron told the court.
The other eight activists were sentenced to seven years in prison for joining an insurrection.
The protest last year to reopen Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park turned bloody when the government’s notoriously violent district security guards moved in on a group of protesters, who for the first time responded by fighting back.
The defendants have admitted to attending the protest, but deny any role in the violence.