More activists charged as Freedom Park demonstration denied

Four more activists were arrested and charged with incitement over the past two days for planning a peaceful rally at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park to seek justice for other demonstrators who have been detained in the past month, a move civil society groups say shows that the government is ramping up its restrictions of fundamental freedoms.

Although Freedom Park is the capital’s only designated space for citizens to exercise their freedom of assembly, access to it was blocked on September 7 by barricades, police officers and district security guards, measures City Hall says were necessary to maintain security and public order.

Khmer Student Intelligent League Association (KSILA) Deputy President Mean Promony, Khmer Thavrak members Tha Lavy and venerable monk Kert Saray, and activist Kong Sam An had announced on Facebook on August 29th at they would host a peaceful rally from September 7-15 to seek justice for union leader Rong Chhun and other activists from environmental NGO Mother Nature, all of whom they believe have been imprisoned unfairly.

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