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Economic Activist Arrested for Planning Protest

An activist for the Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association was arrested in Banteay Meanchey province Wednesday as he distributed leaflets for a May 16 protest against the rising cost of goods.

Morng Puthy, head of IDEA’s Banthey Meanchey office, was arrested and held by the province’s Or Chrov district police, said IDEA President Von Pov.

"The arrest means that Cambodian authorities are pressuring the freedom of opinion and expression of the people,” Von Pov said. “This contradicts the prime minister, who always says that Cambodia has clung to democracy and respect of human rights."

Banteay Meanchey Police Chief Hun Hean said leaflet distribution advocating protest without permission was illegal.

The demonstration “might cause turmoil in our society,” he said, adding that Morng Puthy had not yet been released.