Cambodia bans march in celebration of Int’l Human Rights Day

PHNOM PENH, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) — Cambodian Interior Ministry has allowed the opposition party to hold a rally at the Freedom Park in the capital Phnom Penh to mark the International Human Rights Day on Tuesday, but march was not permitted.

“The Ministry of Interior allows the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) to gather at the Freedom Park in the morning on Tuesday, Dec. 10 with the participants below 10,000, the maximum capacity of the park,” said a letter signed by Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday. “March is banned, but the party can assign 10 representatives to deliver their petition to the National Assembly.”

The Ministry of Interior called on all participants to cooperate with the authorities to celebrate the International Human Rights Day peacefully.

The CNRP announced Thursday to stage mass rallies in both Phnom Penh and the tourist city of Siem Reap on Dec. 10.

“We plan to get together 20,000 people in Phnom Penh and at least 10,000 participants in Siem Reap city,” CNRP spokesman Yem Ponharith told Xinhua.

He said the upcoming rallies aim to demand greater respect for human rights and greater access to social justice.

CNRP leader Sam Rainsy will join the rally in the capital in the morning and fly to Siem Reap in the afternoon.

The CNRP has launched several mass rallies in Phnom Penh after the July’s disputed election. One of the events in September turned violent as protestors hurled stones at police and the police retaliated with tear gas and water cannons. As a result, a protestor was shot dead and several got wounded.

Yem Ponharith said from Dec. 15 onwards, the CNRP will hold mass protests in Phnom Penh every Sunday to demand probe into the allegations of serious fraud and irregularities during the July election that handed victory to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s ruling party.

“We will continue our protests and boycott of parliament unless investigation was launched into the poll irregularities,” he said.