A Change of Guard

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Thursday, 5 May 2016

Activists request to march on ACU HQ

Adhoc supporters protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Monday. Hong Menea

Activists request to march on ACU HQ
Thu, 5 May 2016 ppp
Chhay Channyda and Ananth Baliga

Land rights activists from 10 communities in the capital yesterday submitted a request to City Hall requesting permission to march to the Anti-Corruption Unit’s headquarters and deliver a petition in support of human rights activists jailed this week.

It’s a request that will be rejected, a city official told the Post.

The request, addressed to City Governor Pa Socheatvong, bears the thumbprint of six activists, including members of the Boeung Kak, Borei Keila and airport communities.

It seeks permission for a Saturday march to the ACU offices, where they would submit a petition in support of Adhoc and UN employees charged this week in relation to Kem Sokha’s purported sex scandal.

“We all request [the ACU] stop its threats and intimidation against human rights activists and civil society officers in relation to any of the accusations,” the request reads.

Borei Keila evictee Kim Saran, 48, said that rights groups had always supported them in their struggles and this was a way to return the support.

But Mean Chanyada, director of administration at City Hall, said that while they will discuss the request with the activists, it would certainly be denied.

In a show of support to the jailed rights activists, meanwhile, the US Embassy yesterday hosted their families at a dinner honouring the work of NGOs and civil society groups and posted a Twitter message directly praising Adhoc.

Pheav Mey, wife of jailed Adhoc staffer Nay Vanda, said that she was among those invited to the “solidarity dinner”, where family members were urged “to be strong and not lose confidence”. 

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