Prey Long Activists Return Home After Being Blocked

A group of about 40 youth activists and monks whose trip to Prey Long forest—aimed at educating locals about environmental protection—was blocked by authorities on Wednesday returned to their homes Thursday, an official said.

Thong Srann, governor of Thala Barivat district in Stung Treng province, said the planned five-day trip, which was arranged by the Khmer for Khmer political advocacy group and the Independent Monk Network for Social Justice, was banned because it was illegal.

“We did not allow this massive gathering because they did not have permission and did not show their objective clearly,” Mr. Srann said.

“We did not block their right but…implemented the state of law,” he added.

Kem Ley, co-founder of Khmer for Khmer, said the group had returned to their homes in Preah Vihear and Kratie provinces to avoid confrontation with provincial authorities.

“We decided to come back because we don’t want to argue with authorities,” Mr. Ley said. “We have asked authorities what law they used to ban us and they just said it was an order from top leaders.”

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