Interior Ministry Issues Instructions to Police on Protest Oversight

The Ministry of Interior on Monday released guidelines instructing governors and police on how to manage the nationwide demonstrations planned by the opposition CNRP for Saturday.

The guidelines, signed by Interior Minister Sar Kheng, say that to ensure that security and public order are maintained, local authorities must make sure the rallies comply with the law on peaceful demonstrations.

Provincial and city officials must make sure that demonstration leaders inform the authorities of the time, duration and location of any protests, and ensure they are peaceful—which the CNRP has repeatedly stressed they will be.

“To ensure security and public order, the peaceful demonstrations should be held in Freedom Park in the cities and provinces,” the ministry’s guidelines read.

Governors should remind police to be disciplined, professional and patient in order to avoid any incidents, they continue.

The guidelines also call for governors to collect information that may lead to incitement of violence or destruction of property and to stop such actions ahead of time.

“Authorized persons must maintain a policy of protecting the security of the people and are responsible for remaining patient,” they state.

Petrol stations and other places that distribute petrol or chemicals should also be closely monitored, according to the ministry.

“Local authorities and authorized people must increase the management of factories producing explosives in warehouses, especially to prevent the risk of fire,” the guidelines read.

CNRP spokesman Yim Sovann said that the guidelines were a form of intimidation.

“I think that these guidelines are to intimidate our demonstration.”

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