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Land rights protesters arrested

Six activists from Phnom Penh’s Borei Keila and Boeung Kak communities were arrested on Saturday morning while handing out leaflets denouncing the controversial NGO law, passed by the National Assembly last week.

Tep Vanny, Kong Chantha, Bov Sorphea and Sung Sreyleap from Boeung Kak, and Chhay Kemhorn and Sao Chanhorm from Borei Keila were detained for nearly seven hours of questioning and “education” after being arrested at the capital’s O’Russey market at around 10:45am on Saturday.

Prampi Makara District Governor Lem Sopheap said the women were arrested because they “launched a protest along the street and public places without permission from the local authorities’’.

He added that authorities “released them after they agreed to thumbprint a contract [agreeing] to stop violating the law”.

Vanny of Boeung Kak, however, defended her actions.

“Until now, this law has not been adopted by the Senate and the King, but the authorities have already restricted our freedom to gather to express our ideas,” she said.

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