A protest is scheduled to take place in Phnom Penh on Monday, September 7. The demonstration is being held to denounce the arrest of union leader and human rights activist Rong Chhun, in addition to other activists, who were reportedly arrested for criticizing the government. The demonstration is set to be held at Freedom Park in Phnom Penh where participants will gather at approximately 08:00 (local time). The demonstration has not been approved by local authorities and therefore clashes between protesters and police forces cannot be ruled out.
A heightened security presence and localized traffic disruptions in the vicinity of the demonstration should be anticipated.
Chhun, who is a representative of the Cambodian Watchdog Council and president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU), was arrested on July 31 after allegedly criticizing the government's policies regarding border negotiations with Vietnam. The ruling Cambodian people's Party frequently moves swiftly to quash any opposition protest or dissent. The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a directive on August 3 stating that any rally in front of the court that could affect public order or cause disruption would not be deemed as a peaceful protest, making it easier for authorities to justify clamping down on such demonstrations.
Those in Phnom Penh are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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