Police Seek Charges for Eight Detained Opposition Protesters

the cambodia daily

Ten opposition supporters re­mained detained Tuesday, and police will seek charges related to carrying weapons and anti-government leaflets against eight, au­thorities said Tuesday.

The other two detainees are foreigners who have agreed to leave the country, officials said (see page 11).

In all, 29 demonstrators were detained by police Monday in what the government maintains were the first arrests of the post-election demonstrations.

“Eight will be sent to the court because we have found leaflets inside their pockets…that are anti-government,” Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak said Tuesday evening. “The court will decide whether to charge them.”

He said the other 19 demonstrators had been released, inclu­d­ing two soldiers turned over to military police jurisdiction.

Earlier in the afternoon, Neth Savoeun, municipal police commissioner, indicated that some of those going to court had brandished sticks and slingshots.

The government said it was exercising its right to hold protesters for questioning for as long as 48 hours without char­ges. Rights workers say at least some arrests violated constitutional rights to freedom of expression.

Adhoc Director Thun Saray said the local human rights group was still concerned about the treatment of those detained. At least five of the original de­tainees were believed student acti­vists. But Tuesday evening it was unclear whether students were still among the detainees.

On Tuesday, Adhoc also ap­pealed to teachers, students and other residents to notify the organization of any cases where individuals were believed to have been arrested, tortured or killed.

A 19-year-old student activist was one of two found dead last week by UN rights workers.

Neth Savoeun said the protesters were held for questioning at Tuol Kok police station and the municipal pol­ice de­partment in central Phnom Penh.

(Reporting by Saing Soenthrith, Jeff Smith and Kay Johnson)

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