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Cambodian security forces clear opposition protesters from capital's Freedom Park

English.news.cn   2014-01-04 16:18:10            
 • Security guards, police in plainclothes and riot police forcibly cleared pro-opposition's protesters Friday.
 • A spokesman said the authorities just chased protesters away and no one was injured or arrested.
 • Political dispute between ruling party and opposition party has persisted since July's disputed election.


PHNOM PENH, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Security guards, police in plainclothes and riot police, armed with batons and metal pipes, on Saturday forcibly cleared hundreds of pro-opposition's demonstrators from the capital Phnom Penh' s Freedom Park, where they have been protesting for three straight weeks against Prime Minister Hun Sen's government.

National Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito said that the authorities just chased protesters away from the park and no one was injured or arrested.

"Now, we take control of the park, no more protest is allowed," he told Xinhua.

The crackdown came after Phnom Penh Municipal Governor Pa Socheatvong on Saturday banned the country's main opposition party from holding any protests in the capital since a garment strike on Friday turned violent, leaving four strikers shot dead, 26 injured and 11 arrested.

"To ensure social security and public order, the Phnom Penh Municipality decides not to allow the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) to continue holding demonstrations at the Freedom Park and marching through streets in the city from Jan. 4 onwards until the security situation has returned to normal," Pa Socheatvong said in a letter to opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

He said in recent days, inciting activities have led to violence that claimed lives and caused severe destruction to public and private properties.

"These violent activities have seriously affected social security, safety and public order," he said.

Political dispute between Hun Sen's ruling party and Sam Rainsy 's opposition party has persisted since July's disputed election.

The July poll results showed Hun Sen's party won a majority of vote with 68 parliamentary seats against 55 seats for Sam Rainsy's party, but the opposition refused to accept the outcome, claiming serious irregularities and has boycotted parliament since then.

The opposition had held protests since Dec. 15 to demand the resignation of Hun Sen and a re-vote.

But Hun Sen has said that he would neither step down nor call a reelection since he had done nothing wrong.

Related:

Cambodian army voices backing for gov't as protests escalate

PHNOM PENH, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) on Friday voiced its support for Prime Minister Hun Sen's government as anti-government protests have intensified in recent weeks. "The RCAF vows to support the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen in the fifth term government,"the Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

The current government is legitimate since Hun Sen's ruling party won an absolute majority of vote in July's election, the statement said. "Under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodia will continue enjoying happiness, peace, development and prosperity," it added. Full story

U.S. condemns violence in Cambodia, urges restraint

WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United States on Friday condemned violence in Cambodia and urged all sides to exercise restraint after police opened fire on striking workers, killing three.

"We condemn violence as a means to achieve political or other objectives and urge all sides to exercise maximum restraint and show respect for the rule of law," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at a press briefing. Full story

Editor: Mengjie
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