Two Rounds of Arrests Mark ‘Black Monday’

Four activists were arrested and later released in Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila neighborhood on Monday morning in the latest “Black Monday” campaign, while two more activists were bundled into police cars in the capital’s Boeng Kak neighborhood during a peaceful evening vigil.

In the past month, protests urging the release of four officers from rights group Adhoc and an election official have merged with calls for a full investigation into the murder of  political analyst Kem Ley.

In the beginning of the 15th week of Black Monday protests, several residents of the Borei Keila neighborhood attempted to march to the Prampi Makara district police station at about 8 a.m. but were blocked by police who confiscated the Cambodian flags they were waving, said activist Phok Sophin.

“There were many district police officers and security guards trying to move us away after we refused to tear up our banners,” she said.

Ms. Sophin said she was thrown into the back of a truck with activists Sar Son, Nat Sreynak and a man she knew only as Mr. Nat. After about eight hours in detention, the group was released after signing contracts agreeing to steer clear of future protests, she said.

Chea Sotheara, the deputy district governor, confirmed the four had been detained but declined to comment further.

A video posted to Facebook last night shows security guards storming a vigil in the Boeng Kak neighborhood, which was being led by prominent activist Tep Vanny, joined by mostly women and children.

Ms. Vanny is seen being bundled into the back of a police car, quickly followed by a second woman who is pushed into a separate vehicle. Sporadic scuffles then break out between activists and police.

Boeng Kak activist Sung Sreyleap confirmed last night that Ms. Vanny and Bov Sophea were detained just after 6 p.m. and had not yet been released.

“If tonight both women are still not released, tomorrow we will go to the district police station,” Ms. Sreyleap said.

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