Judicial Machine Rolling…
The 5 opposition CNRP lawmakers who were arrested for incitement to violence following yesterday’s outbursts of violence (see HERE) during a demonstration requesting freedom of speech are being tried at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. About 500 CNRP supporters gathered at the blockade set up by the riot police to prevent access to the court, soon joined by CNRP lawmakers.
The implacable logic of the ruling CPP on issues regarding justice which amounts to ‘What we are doing is always legal and what the opposition is doing is illegal when we decide it is’ is spread out in the open again.
For the armed forces to use lethal weapons, shoot demonstrators or even kill them, instead of applying well known crowd control techniques, for municipal guards to consistently provoke violence because of an uncontrolled behaviour does not, for the ruling party, justify any prosecution or arrest. When one protest, out of dozens of protests in the previous months, turns violent at the hand of CNRP supporters, the judicial machine quickly sets in and targets not the perpetrators, but those who supposedly incited the violence. Why can’t it target those who ordered the excessive violence used by the armed forces?
Because the prevailing logic within the ruling party is one of old-fashioned politics based on developing antagonism, of machismo muscle flexing, on supposedly clever ‘divide to reign’ strategies.
It certainly is not a logic which sets out to benefit ALL Cambodians.
The simple notion of impartiality is totally absent within a fraction of the population. Even the Red Cross/Crescent, supposedly representing the essence of impartiality worldwide, seems to be contaminated by partisan politics in Cambodia: the municipal guards beaten up by protesters yesterday received 25$ from the Cambodian Red Cross. Has the Cambodian Red Cross ever visited those, innocent or not, shot by the military or beaten up by the same municipal guards in the previous months?
PS: I will leave for Belgium tonight and will not cover what certainly will be interesting Cambodian events in the coming month. Sorry…