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Protestors campaign on Black Monday in the Boeung Kak community with banners portraying detained officials demanding their release. Pha Lina

Back in black

After halting for two weeks, Boeung Kak community activists yesterday made a comeback with their ‘Black Monday’ protests, saying they had lost trust in political leaders to ensure the timely release of five activists jailed on charges widely perceived to be politically motivated.

About 20 protesters restarted the campaign yesterday by handing out banners portraying the jailed activists and demanding their release. The five current and former Adhoc rights officials who remain behind bars include Lim Mony, Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Ny Chakrya.

Representative Song Sreyleap said if the government doesn’t release the detainees, they will continue to campaign until they are freed and their protest might become bigger. "We had postponed the campaign for two weeks already," she said, adding that activists were waiting to see the results of a meeting in December after which Interior Minister Sar Kheng hinted the five could be released before year’s end.

"But there is no release," she added, though the activists remain hopeful. Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy leader Kem Sokha and Kheng are expected to meet later this month to discuss the issue, though no specific date has been set.

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