Annual human rights protest kick off in Cambodia

(UPI) — Cambodian villagers and monks are making their way to the country’s capital, Phnom Penh, to take part in an annual human rights protest, activists say.

Human rights workers said hundreds of people set out on foot Sunday in advance of the protest outside the National Assembly, set to mark International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, the Phnom Penh Post reported.

Vorn Pov, president of the civil-society group Independent Democracy of Informal Economic Association, said the participants would deliver petitions to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party and the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party asking for action to be taken curb human rights abuses.

“We want to send a message to the government to stop the abuse of people’s rights,” he was quoted as saying.

He said about 1,000 people were already on their way, traveling along five national roads, and their numbers were expected to swell to up to 30,000 by the time them reach the capital, the newspaper said.

Sar Mora, president of the Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation, who led a group of about 80 people from Pursat, said they want to draw attention human rights abuses, the Post reported.

“We do not have war — but we do not yet have peace,” he said.