Asia

Mu Sochua And Monks Protest In Cambodia's Political Spring

As Cambodia's main opposition party prepares to hold another mass rally on December 10 in protest of alleged election fraud, The Daily Beast looks back at the country's roiling spring and summer of activism.

Charlotte Pert

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

In May and June of 2013, Cambodian activist and politician Mu Sochua led marches through the streets of Phnom Penh, calling for transparency in upcoming elections and sweeping governmental reforms. By the second protest, 8,000 participants turned out to mass in Freedom Park. "I felt like we owned the streets," one activist said.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

May 20, 2013: Mu Sochua pushes through police barriers in the streets of Phnom Penh during a protest by the opposition party. The government denied permission for the march and police erected blockades, but activists turned out in droves to make their voices heard.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

July 28, 2013—Election day in Cambodia. After a long, sleepless night, and an early morning wake-up call as the roosters crowed, Mu Sochua arrived at the polling station in Battambang, and showed her ink-stained finger after casting her vote. After the election, the opposition accused the government of widespread voter fraud, claiming an estimated 2.6 million Cambodians were turned away from the polls.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

September 16. 2013: Mu Sochua cheers to tens of thousands of supporters who gathered at Freedom Park, Phnom Penh, during a three-day protest to contest the 2013 election results, which showed the government's ruling Cambodian Peoples Party announcing it would continue its reign under Prime minister Hun Sen, after almost 30 years in power.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

August 5, 2013: Mu Sochua marches through the streets with the Boeung Kak Lake activists, to listen to a rally speech with party leader-Sam Rainsy. After election day, the Cambodia National Rescue Party hosted a series of protest rallies across Cambodia. Here, the activists visit the evicted Boeung Kak Lake community, where a group of female activists continue their fight for their land rights.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

Mu Sochua and fellow activists march through the streets in the evicted Boeung Kak Lake community.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

Monks march through the streets of Phnom Penh with Sam Rainsy, an opposition leader, during the first day of a three-day mass protest in which tens of thousands participated and violence erupted between police and protesters.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

Monks marching through the streets of Phnom Penh to protest against government corruption.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

A monk chants in Phnom Penh's Freedom Park during one of Cambodia's biggest mass opposition protests, in support of National Election Committee reform.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

Monks cheer during the second day of a mass three-day protest in Phnom Penh. During the first night of protests, violence occurred, resulting in injuries and one death.

Charlotte Pert

The Cambodian Spring

Monks call on the government to implement wide-sweeping reforms and cheer for the opposition party in a protest in Phnom Penh.