Police arrested or turned away at least 50 people as they attempted to stage a protest at Phnom Penh's Freedom Park on Monday, September 7, to demand social justice. The gathering came following the recent arrest of six activists on the grounds that they were promoting social unrest on social media and were working for unregistered groups.
Further unrest following these arrests is possible in the near term.
At least 16 people have been arrested for demanding the release of Rong Chhun, the president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, who was detained in July without an arrest warrant. Chhun has since been charged with incitement to commit a felony and activists have argued that this is linked to his advocacy for land rights for those living on Cambodia's disputed border with Vietnam. Chhun's detention, and subsequent arrests of those advocating his release, have caused civic groups to protest on the grounds of freedom of expression.
Those in Cambodia, particularly Phnom Penh, are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid all protests or demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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