About 60 monks and land rights activists from communities facing eviction in Boeng Kak, Borei Keila, and nearby Phnom Penh International Airport protested outside the Supreme Court building Tuesday for the release of 21 people arrested during strike demonstrations in January.
Holding lotus flowers, incense and placards, the protesters marched three times around the city block where the court is situated, shouting for the release of the 21 detainees.
“We don’t only want their release on bail, but also for [the court] to drop all charges since they are victims and not wrongdoers,” said Tep Vanny, an anti-eviction activist from the Boeng Kak area of the city.
“Although the Municipal and Appeal Courts denied releasing [the 21] on bail, we hope the Supreme Court will provide justice for them since they are not guilty,” Ms. Vanny said.
Opposition CNRP leader Sam Rainy made a brief visit to the protest, stopping his vehicle near the court and mingling for a few minutes with the demonstrators.
Mr. Rainsy said he wanted to show his support for the plight of the 21 detainees who were detained during the lethal suppression of the garment factory strikes last month.