Protester Files Attempted Murder Complaint Against Guard Who Shoved Her

2 min read
Seng Chanthorn, (second from right), holds a photo of her jailed husband, Sun Thun, while protesting with other women in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on September 25, 2020. They are calling for the release from prison of their spouses, all former CNRP officials. (Hy Chhay/VOD)

A woman protesting the jailing of her husband, an ex-opposition official, filed a court complaint on Friday alleging attempted murder by a Phnom Penh security guard who threw her to the ground during a demonstration earlier this month.

Seng Chanthorn, the wife of former Kampong Thom provincial councilor and Cambodian Independent Teachers Association unionist Sun Thun, gathered outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in the morning alongside about 10 other women. The group has been regularly protesting the jailings of their husbands, who are former officials of the dissolved opposition CNRP.

Chanthorn said her attempted murder complaint was filed against Chhoam Prasidh, a Prampi Makara district security guard.

“I ask the court to help me get justice,” she said. “They tried to kill me.”

On September 4, the women were protesting in front of the court when onlookers captured video of the guard shoving Chanthorn to the ground, and her head hitting the pavement. She was treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital.

Chanthorn said on Friday that she still experienced chest pain and headaches, and struggled with heavy lifting since the incident.

A representative of the court was seen accepting her complaint.

Neither Prasidh nor district governor Lim Sophea could be reached for comment on Friday.

City Hall spokesperson Met Measpheakdey said people were free to file court complaints.

“I have no opinion,” he said. “It is within people’s rights to follow the procedure, and she has the right to file a complaint.”

District authorities issued a statement earlier this month saying that its security forces had been trying to prevent the protesters from disturbing the courts and the lives of people nearby when Chanthorn was thrown to the ground. Prasidh was educated and punished, the statement said, without elaborating.

Ny Sokha, head of Adhoc’s human rights unit, urged the court to investigate.

“We ask the court to process the complaints of the public to provide fair justice,” he said.

Thun was arrested at his home in Tbong Khmum province in June, and has been charged with incitement and plotting. Dozens of former members of the CNRP have been summoned, arrested or sentenced in recent months, renewing a crackdown against the main opposition party, which was dissolved and outlawed in 2017.

(Translated and edited from the original article on VOD Khmer)

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