Authorities Release 15-Year-Old Who Illegally Entered CNRP Headquarters

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The former CNRP headquarters in Phnom Penh before the opposition party was dissolved in November 2017.

A 15-year-old boy who illegally entered the outlawed CNRP’s former headquarters over the weekend was released by authorities on Tuesday morning after questioning.

The boy, whose father is a former party member currently in jail for incitement and other crimes, may have been looking for mementos related to his father in the shuttered Chak Angre Loeu commune office, his mother told VOD.

“He has had autism since he was young and what he loved sticks strongly in his head,” the mother said. The boy’s father used to frequently take him to the headquarters before the party was dissolved in 2017, and it was possible he was revisiting those trips, she said.

Her son had no intention to fight the government, she added.

Phnom Penh municipal police spokesperson San Sokseyha said on Tuesday that the boy had been questioned over the illegal entry but was already released.

“The authorities arrested him because he jumped over into a place that the court banned,” Sokseyha said. “We brought [him] in for questioning in case there was something missing or damaged over there, and after having checked and found no problem we released [him].”

Sam Sokong, a lawyer for the CNRP, said the boy had been detained since around 3 p.m. on Sunday.

“The boy had no intention to disturb or cause insecurity in society — just having a normal look around,” Sokong said.

The Supreme Court dissolved the CNRP in November 2017 following the arrest of its president for alleged treason, and 118 of the party’s senior officials were banned from politics for five years.

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