CNRP Youth Activists Called to Appear in Court on Christmas

A group of CNRP youth activists who were arrested and jailed after the violent July 15 protest at Freedom Park have been summoned for their trials at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on December 25, according to one of their lawyers.

“We have received four letters from the court, including for Oeur Narith, Khin Chamroeun, Neang Sokhun, and San Kimheng,” said Sam Sokong, who is representing the four.

“They will appear at the court on the 25th for the hearing concerning the 15th [of July], on charges from leading an insurrection to joining an insurrection,” Mr. Sokong said.

Mr. Narith, an employee of CNRP public affairs director and lawmaker Mu Sochua, was jailed along with Ms. Sochua and six other opposition lawmakers who were arrested after the protest and released after a political deal was struck between the CNRP and CPP on July 22.

Mr. Chamroeun, who heads the CNRP’s Phnom Penh Youth wing; Mr. Sokhun, a youth leader for the CNRP in Tuol Kok district; and Mr. Kimheng, the party’s treasurer in Meanchey district, were then arrested on August 2 over their actions at the same protest. All four activists have been released on bail.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court deputy prosecutor Keo Socheat, who signed the copies of the court warrants provided by Mr. Sokong, said a number of people had been called to the court but declined to confirm names.

“We will have a hearing on the 25th concerning the case of the violence at Freedom Park, and we issued letters requesting they come to the hearing,” Mr. Socheat said, declining to comment further.

Mr. Chamroeun, the CNRP Youth head, said he believed up to eight CNRP activists, including people not jailed after the July 15 protest, received court summonses to appear on December 25, but Mr. Socheat would not comment.

Mr. Sokong, who regularly represents the CNRP in court, said none of the seven opposition lawmakers also arrested in the week after the protest has received summonses.

The seven were all lawmakers-elect when they were arrested in July, but now enjoy immunity from prosecution as elected and sworn-in members of the National Assembly.

dara@cambodiadaily.com

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