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Group to abide by deal, will not screen Ley doc

Armed police in Phnom Penh arrest four activists after shutting down a Sunday screening of an Al Jazeera-produced short on Kem Ley’s murder.
Armed police in Phnom Penh arrest four activists after shutting down a Sunday screening of an Al Jazeera-produced short on Kem Ley’s murder. Pha Lina

Group to abide by deal, will not screen Ley doc

A day after four activists were detained for attempting to screen an Al Jazeera-produced short on the murder of political analyst Kem Ley, Moung Sony said his group would refrain from screening the documentary because of an agreement they signed on Sunday that ensured their release.

The Khmer Student Intelligent League Association had organised a screening of the report that highlights the suspicious circumstances that led to the killing of the popular political commentator. Armed police and district security guards, however, shut down the screening, briefly detaining four of the group’s members.

On Sunday, KSILA secretary-general Chek Chetra had said the group would only temporarily suspend the screening and wait for the right time to attempt to show it.

But, Sony, one of the four arrested and a member of KSILA, confirmed yesterday that the screening had been scrapped altogether because authorities had threatened to slam the group with incitement charges, though he questioned the rationale behind the charge.

“According to the authorities, if we screen it, they will pursue legal action. But what article of the law applies to this?” he asked yesterday.

Yesterday meanwhile, Solidarity House, home to a group of NGOs and trade unions, held a private screening of the controversial documentary I Am Chut Wutty, which chronicles the life of environmentalist Chut Wutty’s fight against deforestation in Koh Kong province.

Wutty was gunned down under murky circumstances in 2012 while escorting journalists to a protected forest in Koh Kong where he had documented illegal logging rackets.

The documentary was also streamed by Solidarity House on their Facebook page, with union leader Sar Mora saying it was unrelated to the incident involving the Kem Ley documentary the day before.

“We just want people to have an understanding of the Chut Wutty case. There is nothing bad in that,” said Mora, who is president of Cambodian Food and Service Workers Federation.

He added that he wasn’t worried about any intervention from the authorities, adding that they were only streaming a film that was already available online for anyone to watch.

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