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Youth NGO says there was no coup plot

Scores of youths yesterday called on Phnom Penh Municipal Court to drop charges against four people who last month were accused of producing and distributing materials encouraging a military coup.

In a petition thumbprinted by more than 130 members of local NGO Youth for Peace, the group says there was insufficient evidence to link the four to any anti-government plot.

“Our youth just wanted to distribute flowers with no purpose of taking down the government,” Youth for Peace representative Heng Samnang said.

Tout Chanpanha and Sok Dalis were arrested on August 15 as they picked up flowers, while Heuy Borin and Lin Lipheng were arrested for printing materials with allegedly anti-government sentiments. Police claimed the group had been preparing to hand out flowers bearing messages for soldiers to turn their guns against the government.

All four refuted the accusations and insisted they harboured no anti-government sentiments.

On August 20, the group was released on bail, though the charges still stand.

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