NGOs vow to ignore city’s ban on Human Rights Day march

Source: Phnom Penh Post

people_march_past_the_royal_palace_late_last_year_during_human_rights_day_event_in_the_kingdoms_capital_10_12_2015_hong_menea

People march past the Royal Palace late last year during a Human Rights Day event in the Kingdom’s capital. Hong Menea

Sixty-eight rights groups and civil society organisations said yesterday they will go ahead with plans for a march on Human Rights Day next month, despite City Hall denying them permission.

The groups released a statement yesterday saying they will march from Freedom Park to Wat Botum Park on December 10, a day after Phnom Penh City Hall asked them to reconsider the plan citing traffic and safety concerns.

An October 31 letter from the groups requested permission for about 5,000 participants, with the march culminating in a day-long celebration at the park.

Sia Phearum, executive director of the Human Rights Task Force and an organiser of the march, said City Hall was using the excuse of traffic jams to prevent them from conducting a peaceful event.

“We will still do it because it is for all Cambodian people, so the government should cooperate with us to celebrate [the day] peacefully,” he said.

A similar march took place last year, again without City Hall’s approval and under heavy security presence, but proceeded without any major confrontations or violence.

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