Deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha will meet with Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Monday evening with an aim to discuss the recent imprisonment of 14 opposition activists over insurrection charges stemming from a violent protest last July, according to a CNRP spokesman.
In a case that the opposition says is politically motivated, 11 CNRP activists were found guilty on insurrection charges last month over the protest at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park and sentenced to between seven and 20 years in jail. Another three activists were arrested over the same charges last week and sent to Prey Sar prison to await trial.
The CNRP says the jailings violate last year’s July 22 political agreement, which ended the opposition’s boycott of the National Assembly, and acting party spokesman Ou Chanrith said the deal would be revisited today.
“I can’t give any details about the agenda,” he said of the 5 p.m. meeting. “In general, we will discuss the agreement on July 22, 2014, in which we agreed to put in some points about the reform of some state institutions.”
Asked whether the jailing of the 14 activists would be discussed, Mr. Chanrith said it was an aim.
“We will look for an opportunity to raise the issue,” he said.
Yet CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the meeting would not touch on the issue of the jailed activists.
“If they talk about the 11 CNRP activists, there will not be a discussion because the 11 people are not a political issue, it is about legal procedures and is the court’s work,” he said.
Police have said they are still searching for two other CNRP activists who were present at the Freedom Park protest.
Seven CNRP lawmakers were arrested in the days that followed the protest, but have so far avoided trial. Sunday’s edition of the Rasmei Kampuchea Daily featured an unsourced front-page story saying that the seven would soon be summoned to court.
Keo Mony, the investigating judge in the case, could not be reached for comment.