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Black Monday rolls on as Adhoc eyes release

Monks pray for jailed human rights activists during a Black Monday protest at Boeung Kak in Phnom Penh yesterday.
Monks pray for jailed human rights activists during a Black Monday protest at Boeung Kak in Phnom Penh yesterday. Heng Chivoan

Black Monday rolls on as Adhoc eyes release

Land activists from five communities continued their “Black Monday” protests yesterday, as opposition leader Kem Sokha paid a visit to the jailed rights activists whose release they are seeking.

About 50 activists from five communities involved in land disputes, including Boeung Kak, SOS and Thmor Kol, invited two monks to carry out prayers calling for the immediate release of five current and former human rights officials – Lim Mony, Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Ny Chakrya – and fellow land activist Tep Vanny.

“We wanted to show their innocence and that they are jailed unfairly,” said Boeung Kak activist Bov Sophea. She added that land activists had scaled down the civil society-initiated protest, in anticipation of a potential release for the jailed rights officials.

Following last week’s pardon for acting CNRP president Kem Sokha, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng said the four Adhoc staffers and one National Election Committee member still jailed would soon follow. A jailed opposition commune chief was released on Thursday.

CNRP lawmaker Long Ry, who accompanied Sokha to Prey Sar prison, said the opposition leader reassured the jailed officials that attempts were being made to release them from prison. “They wanted the government and leaders to meet and find a solution,” he said, referring to the Adhoc staffers’ response.

Adhoc spokesman Sam Chankea, meanwhile, said despite Sokha’s visit, it was unclear how the five would be released.

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