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King Accepts Petition to Drop Charges Against Activists

King Sihamoni says Monday that Prime Minister Hun Sen will consider the people's petition to drop all charges against human rights and pro democracy activists after receiving a petition with ten of thousands of signatures appealing for his intervention, say human rights officials.

The Cambodian Center for Human Rights's (CCHR) spokesman Ou Virak accompanies about 50 NGOs officials taking the petition with about 100,000 signatures to the king asking for the release of all the activists and dropping all charges against them.

Mr. Ou has an audience with the king Monday morning.

Prime Minister Hun Sen Sunday refused to drop all charges against the four newly released activists who are free on bail, and to pardon opposition party's high ranking officials.

Opposition Sam Rainsy party's legislator Keo Remy appeals to Mr. Hun Sen to have patience and be linient toward the activists.

Radio journalist Mam Sonando, union leader Rong Chhun, rights activists Kem Sokha and Pa Nguon Tieng, both with the U.S. funded Cambodian Center for Human Rights were imprisoned on defamation charges and released on bail last week.

They are awaiting trial on these charges and for criticizing the border demarcation deal with Vietnam, charges filed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.