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Rights Center Concerned After Detention of Protestors


The Cambodian Center for Human Rights said Thursday it was worried the government was backsliding on freedom of expression, following the detention of eight foreigners Tuesday for protesting ahead of the donor meeting.

The eight were questioned by police after hanging signs from vehicles proclaiming the innocence of Born Samnang and Sok Samoeun, two men thought to be framed for the killing of a union activist. The group were driving their bannered trucks near the site of this week's annual donors meeting.

The questioning, which police said was justified because the group didn't have permission to protest, violated the principles of freedom of assembly and expression, CCHR said.

The episode follows the recent ban of a forestry report by Global Witness that links the prime minister and other top officials to illegal logging.

Cambodia's constitution makes it one the countries in Southeast Asia where expression is freest. In practice, however, journalists complain of intimidation and other violations.

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