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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Protesters march over controversial NGO bill

Protesters march over controversial NGO bill

More than 200 protesters marched to the National Assembly yesterday demanding the withdrawal of the controversial draft law on NGOs and associations.

The protesters, which comprised civil society organisations and monks, warned they would not vote for any political party supporting the law’s passage as it was designed to “serve political interests”.

“If this law is approved, we are all required to register even informal groups.

So a lot of us will not be able to do our duties and the authorities could take legal action against us, and we can be fined or even be jailed,” said Licadho coordinator Am Sam Ath.

According to ruling Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker and Human Rights Commission member Lok Kheng, parliament will hold a consultation with stakeholders in early August after reviewing the law.

“Civil society groups say that the law stifles their freedom, but they are not saying which point of the article actually does that. We will hold a workshop so they can bring up the matter clearly,” Kheng explained.

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday said that his party was fully in support of the controversial law passing.

“The party vehemently opposes acts of foreign interference in this process, which is a violation of the country’s independence and sovereignty,” he said.

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