Boeung Kak and Borei Keila land rights activists yesterday continued their “Black Monday” protests by making offerings to seven monks, who were meant to symbolise seven detained human rights officials and political prisoners.
The protest, which took place Monday morning at the Boeung Kak community, involved 50 land activists making offerings to the monks – one to represent Tep Vanny, five for the four jailed Adhoc staffters and an elections official, and the last one for all others who had been unjustly imprisoned.
“We invited the seven monks in order to pray and to persuade the court to free them,” said Bov Sophea, a land activist.
Sophea also reacted to local media reports that the activists would stop the long running protest, saying that as long as fellow activist Vanny and the five human rights officials were jailed, the campaign would continue.
“If they release the six people this week, we will stop the campaign this week and there will be no campaign from next week,” she said.
The Black Monday protests were started in May by civil society groups following the arrest of Adhoc staffers Lim Mony, Nay Vanda, Yi Soksan and Ny Sokha, and ex-Adhoc staffer and current National Election Committee official Ny Chakrya, in relation to opposition leader Kem Sokha’s alleged sex scandal.
Koul Panha, head of election monitor Comfrel, said last week’s royal pardon for Sokha suggested the political situation was improving and that civil society groups would reassess the campaign to ensure the release of the human rights staffers.