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City blocks request for rights day parade

CITY Hall has rejected an application from a coalition of NGOs requesting permission to parade through central Phnom Penh to mark Human Rights Day next Thursday, Suon Sareth, executive secretary of the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), said on Wednesday.

Suon Sareth said the group submitted a letter of permission for the march to Phnom Penh Governor Kep Chuktema on November 5. On Wednesday, he said, CHRAC received a letter from Kep Chuktema rejecting the proposal to hold the parade.

He vowed that the groups involved would defy the governor’s refusal – made in accordance with the new Law on Demonstrations – and march next week. “We will not use the parade to oppose any political party or cause any damage to property,” he said. “We just want to celebrate human rights.”

Kep Chuktema could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

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