Asia

Cambodia jails 11 opposition activists for 'insurrection'

Supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), are escorted by Cambodian police officers at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, 21 July 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Supporters of the CNRP gathered outside the court before being escorted away by police

Cambodia has jailed several opposition activists on insurrection charges, their lawyers say.

The 11 members of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) were given jail terms of between seven and 20 years over clashes at a protest in Phnom Penh last year, defence lawyers said.

The clashes erupted during rallies against the closure of the capital's designated protest site, Freedom Park.

A rights group called the proceedings a "show trial" to intimidate the CNRP.

Cambodia became a multi-party democracy in 1993, but opponents accuse Prime Minister Hun Sen of running a violent and authoritarian system.

Hun Sen, who heads the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), has led the country for the last 30 years.

The CPP won disputed general elections in 2013, taking 68 seats compared with 55 for the CNRP.

The CNRP initially boycotted its parliamentary seats, ending it last year following an agreement with the CPP.

In July 2014, protests erupted over a government decision to close Freedom Park, leading to violent clashes and tear gas and batons being deployed. Several people were injured.

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