A Woman Who Took Part in the Oct. 23 Demonstration Is Charged and Sent to Jail

Sath Pha is photographed on Oct. 23 as she demonstrated in Phnom Penh under the surveillance of private security guards and police officers. Photo: Gerald Flynn.

Sath Pha joined three other demonstrators also jailed on charges of inciting social unrest  

PHNOM PENH--Sath Pha, who was among the demonstrators who gathered in front of the Chinese, the US and the French embassies on the anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements on Oct. 23, has been jailed on incitement charges on Oct. 28.



San Sok Seiha, spokesman for the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, said that she was arrested on Oct. 27 in accordance with a court order, was charged in court with inciting social unrest on Oct. 28, and immediately taken to Prey Sar Prison.



Pha on Oct. 23 had joined a demonstration to mark the 29th anniversary of the signing of the Paris Peace Agreements and call on the government to respect the democratic principles the document, which put an end to war in Cambodia in 1991, was meant to introduce in the country.

 




Private security guards take Sath Pha away from the demonstration in front of the Chinese Embassy on Oct. 23. As soon as she was released that day, she joined demonstrators at the U.S. and French embassies. Photo: Cambodian Center for Human Rights.   



Three demonstrators—Ton Nymul, who is 37 years old; Lim San, 57 years old; and Yory Sreymom, 52 years old—were arrested in front of the Chinese Embassy, and are in custody at Prey Sar Prison since Oct. 25 on charges of incitement to cause chaos and threaten social security. 



The international NGO Human Rights Watch has called on the Cambodian authorities to stop arbitrarily arresting and harassing activists who organized or took part in that demonstration on Oct. 23.



“It is bad enough to arrest peaceful protesters, but it is an assault on basic decency for Hun Sen to threaten family members, including children,” said Phil Robertson, the NGO’s Asia deputy director. He was referring to Prime Minister Hun Sen who, on Oct. 26, accused Ho Vann, a former opposition party member, of organizing the Oct. 23 demonstration and warned him that, while he was overseas, his family was still in Phnom Penh. 



“Prime Minister Hun Sen set the tone for abuse by threatening those planning to protest the failure of the government to keep its promises on rights and democracy in the Paris Peace Agreements,” Robertson said.





 


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