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People participating in a Black Monday protest are detained earlier this month in Tuol Kork district.
People participating in a Black Monday protest are detained earlier this month in Tuol Kork district. Hong Menea

Ministry staff warned against wearing black

The Ministry of Economy and Finance will punish any staff caught joining the so-called Black Monday campaign and has tasked deputy departmental heads with monitoring their subordinates, according to a directive.

In a statement dated May 25, the ministry warns that staff found participating in the campaign, which encourages people to wear black as a form of protest, will face action, calling the movement an “anarchic . . . colour revolution” and a threat to social order.

“To prevent the Black campaign, the ministry issues measures and instructions to secretariats, the general directorate and all relevant units to increase management, strengthen rules and monitor their civil servants, as well as contracted officials, to strictly avoid . . . them wearing black,” the statement read.

“In case there are officials or civil servants under supervision participating in the campaign, the supervisor must report immediately to the staff department for action, following existing laws, to be taken.”

The campaign, in its fourth week, is calling for the government to release five people, all current or former human rights workers, imprisoned over an alleged conspiracy to cover up an affair by opposition leader Kem Sokha.

The case is widely considered politically motivated. Representatives for the Economy and Finance Ministry were unreachable yesterday.

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