Six land activists, a balloon seller and three of his relatives were detained yesterday outside Prey Sar prison, where they had congregated to demand the release of fellow activist Tep Vanny and five jailed human rights officials.
Nearly 100 land activists were protesting outside the prison yesterday using banners, photos and balloons when Dangkor district security guards detained Boeung Kak activist Nget Khun, along with Phuong Sopheap, Khiev Savy, Sok Raksmey, Cheav Sreynich and Meas Sreypov from the Thmor Kol, or SOS, community.
The land activists were yet to be released as of 8:30pm last night, with Licadho’s technical coordinator Am Sam Ath saying the police seemed inclined to keep the six for the permissible 48 hours.
Balloon seller Seng Thy was also arrested, along with his son and two nephews, but released a few hours later. Thy said he had been asked by the activists to provide balloons for their protest and had no political agenda.
“I said that I do not know [about the protest]. I am a balloon seller, so I go anywhere and balloons do not affect politics and parties,” he said.
He said the police only questioned him about his address and birthplace before letting him go.
City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada said the protest did not have the required permission and that the activists had already violated a ban on such protests multiple times.