Five members of parliament (MPs) of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have been charged with organising a violent protest and taken to the Prey Sar prison in Phnom Penh’s suburb.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court made the decision after questioning the MPs over their alleged leading role in the July 15 protest, which turned violent when authorised forces came to dissolve the gathering, resulting in 38 police officers and security personnel getting injured.

The MPs were also charged with inciting insurrection and committing violent acts, and may face a prison sentence of at least 20 years if convicted.

At a press conference on July 16, CNRP acting president Kem Sokha warned that his party will stage demonstrations if the MPs are not released unconditionally.

The same day, officials of the Cambodian Government had a meeting with some 20 ambassadors and chargé d’affaires of countries in Phnom Penh to announce the suppression of illegal rallies held by a number of CNRP politicians. The officials affirmed that the arrest is to enforce law and restore security and social order.-VNA