King Holds Event for Human Rights Day

King Norodom Sihamoni marked Inter­national Human Rights Day on Friday by meeting with representatives of rights groups, international organizations and four victims of human rights abuses.

Inviting 65 guests to the Royal Palace, King Sihamoni listened to five-minute addresses from a victim of abuse in the garment industry, a villager affected by the Pheapimex land concession in Pursat province, a victim of do­mes­tic violence and a victim of child abuse, said Adhoc Director Thun Saray.

“[The King] is interested to know the suffering of his people, he put in a lot of attention to the speech of each person,” Thun Saray said after the meeting, adding that King Sihamoni said he would report what he had heard to Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Some 400 people took part in a march from Wat Botum to the Royal Palace to mark Human Rights Day.

The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee said in a statement Friday that 35 demonstrations had been either banned or forcibly dispersed by police since Feb 2003, and that rights violations continue, particularly land grabbing.

“Increasing incidence of land-grabbing have been documented over the last years, with devastating effects on indigenous communities, farmers and the urban and rural poor,” the statement read.



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