Cambodia court charges 3 in attack on opposition leaders

Cambodia court charges 3 in attack on opposition leaders

[JURIST] A Cambodian court on Wednesday indicted three men in the beating of two opposition lawmakers last week. The men, Chay Sarith, Mao Hoeun and Suth Vanny, were charged [AP report] with two counts of intention to commit violence and one count of intention to commit property damage. The suspects turned themselves in [Cambodia Daily report] on Tuesday. The lawmakers, Nhoy Chamreoun and Kong Sakphea of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, were dragged from the vehicles and severely beaten as police looked on. The lawmakers received treatment for their injuries in Thailand.

The lack of transparency in the Cambodian legislature has led to international concern. Last week the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) expressed concern [JURIST report] over the “organized attack” on the opposition politicians in Cambodia. In April the UN Human Rights Committee stated [report, DOC] that the government needs to make public all draft legislation in order to facilitate debate. Cambodia has had a history of human rights abuses that have continued to alarm rights organizations around the world. In March Cambodia’s Parliament passed [JURIST report] two controversial new election laws that rights groups criticized as ill-conceived and potentially damaging to free speech. In January Cambodian General Sao Sohka admitted to using force [JURIST report] against political opponents of the reigning Cambodian People’s Party.