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Cambodian opposition duo, leader of union in court for 'inciting' protest

Jan 14. 2014
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By Deutsche Presse-Agentur

Two leaders of Cambodia's main opposition party and a union chief appeared in court yesterday morning on charges of inciting garment factory workers to protest two weeks ago. Sam Rainsy, president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party, and his deputy Kem
“The prosecutors have no evidence whatsoever,” opposition member Mu Sochua said outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. Protests for a higher minimum wage for some 500,000 garment workers culminated in a clash with police on January 3. 
Five protesters were killed and dozens injured after police opened fire on rock-throwing strikers. Mu Sochua said there should be an independent probe into the use of force by police.
The party has been calling for long-time Prime Minister Hun Sen to step down after what it alleges were fraudulent elections in July. The party has strong links to the country’s labour unions.
Rainsy and Sokha arrived at court yesterday morning to cheers and applause from around 2,000 supporters gathered outside.
The crowd turned out in defiance of a ban on public gatherings of 10 or more people announced by the government after January 3. Some held signs asking the United Nations for help and welcoming UN special envoy to Cambodia Surya Subedi, who is in Cambodia this week on a fact-finding mission.

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