Two Borei Keila activists were arrested and questioned for more than 10 hours yesterday for conducting a small “Black Monday” protest calling for the release of human rights staffers and fellow activist Tep Vanny.
The duo, Sar Sorn and Nat Sreynak, were taken into custody by district police and security guards around 8:30am for wearing black and sloganeering at Borei Keila, while holding banners calling for the release of four Adhoc staffers, an elections official and Vanny. They were let go yesterday evening.
The civil-society-backed Black Monday protests were started last May following the arrest of Adhoc staffers Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda and Yi Soksan, and National Election Committee official Ny Chakrya.
The protest has grown to include Vanny, who has been convicted and jailed in three separate cases, as well as a call for a transparent investigation into political commentator Kem Ley’s murder in July.
Sorn said authorities asked her why she held the protest, adding that she was made to agree to not hold any more such events. “However, I will continue making these demands because I believe it’s not illegal.”
Veal Veng commune police chief Mok Borunchorsak said he had been instructed by his superiors to arrest activists wearing black and conducting protests. Government officials have likened the protests to a “colour revolution”, a reference to nonviolent movements that have unseated regimes in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.