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No protest permission needed: CCHR

A prominent rights group on Monday wrote to Minister of Interior Sar Kheng, calling on him to remind ministries and local authorities that demonstrators do not require their permission to hold public gatherings.

The letter from the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) came after security forces blocked a peaceful bike ride organised by environmentalists on Sunday to raise awareness of the planned Stung Cheay Areng hydropower dam in Koh Kong province.

The letter said that under Articles 5 and 10 of the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations, protest organisers are not required to ask for permission to hold gatherings, and nonresponse to a protest notification is considered approval.

The CCHR letter went on to urge Kheng “to ensure that the Royal Government of Cambodia restores Cambodians’ fundamental rights to peaceful assembly, in particular by ensuring that no excessive force is used by security forces”.

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