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16:01 ICT Jun 29

marches planned for tomorrow at 8am

The above map shows the routes and starting points for tomorrow’s planned marches

In early April this year, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced his government’s intention to pass a law governing associations and NGOs. Previous attempts to pass such a law were abandoned in 2011 following strong national and international criticism of earlier drafts on the grounds that they would severely limit the right to freedom of association. The latest draft of the law, which was only released to the public in early June, places requirements not only on NGOs but also informal networks, grassroots groups and social movements and has been widely condemned for its potentially repressive provisions. The draft is currently being reviewed by three National Assembly commissions after which it is expected to pass to the National Assembly to be voted on.

Opposition to the draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO), as well as other pending legislation covering trades unions, has been building over recent weeks with two protests being held outside Cambodia's National Assembly and this morning with over a hundred community groups and NGOs participating in an event to release thousands of balloons bearing the message "Say NO to Union, Association and NGO laws". Tomorrow protesters will march from four locations around Phnom Penh to the National Assembly to express their opposition to the laws. The marches will begin from the following locations:

  • Group 1: Niroth Raingsy Pagoda, National Road 1
  • Group 2: Chak Angre Leu Pagoda, National Road 2
  • Group 3: Sky Bridge near Preah Kossamak Hosptial, Russian Boulevard
  • Group 4: French Embassy, Monivong Boulevard

Updated at 16:28 ICT

16:54 ICT Jun 29

Tomorrow's march follows an event earlier today in which over a hundred community groups and local and international NGOs released balloons to show their objection to the law. Oxfam and Transparency International tweeted photos of the events at their offices in Phnom Penh.

This ends our coverage for this afternoon. Join us tomorrow as we follow events live.

Updated at 18:34 ICT

07:24 ICT Jun 30

Authorities out in force early

Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of this morning's protest marches to the National Assembly. Marches were due to start at 8 o'clock from four different locations around Phnom Penh

  • Group 1: Niroth Raingsy Pagoda, National Road 1
  • Group 2: Chak Angre Leu Pagoda, National Road 2
  • Group 3: Sky Bridge near Preah Kossamak Hosptial, Russian Boulevard
  • Group 4: French Embassy, Monivong Boulevard

But since around 6 o'clock police have been gathering at the four starting points and roads to the National Assembly have been barricaded.

Updated at 08:00 ICT

07:33 ICT Jun 30

Police prevent protesters from gathering

Police pull Tep Vanny away from the French Embassy and back towards her house in Boeung Kak

With half an hour to go before the marches are due to start police are already preventing protesters from gathering.

  • At the French Embassy, protesters from Boeung Kak have been trying to assemble in preparation for the march but have been pulled away from the starting point by police.
  • On National Road 2 at Chak Angre Leu pagoda police have confiscated a tuk tuk and balloons.
  • On National Road 1 at Niroth Raingsy Pagoda police have confiscated a tuk tuk

Updated at 11:38 ICT

08:01 ICT Jun 30

Veteran Boeung Kak campaigner leads the march on National Road 2

On National Road 2 around 50 protesters began to march but have now been blocked by police.

08:07 ICT Jun 30

On Kampuchea Krom boulevard around 100 protesters are marching and holding balloons.

Updated at 08:09 ICT

08:16 ICT Jun 30

Police block protesters on National Road 2

Marchers are currently being prevented from marching on three of the four roads.

  • Group one has been stopped at the starting point Wat Niroth.
  • Group two has had its path blocked at Kbal Thnal flyover. Police confiscated and burst their balloons but protesters have responded by singing.
  • Group four has not been allowed to leave the French Embassy.

Updated at 08:17 ICT

08:17 ICT Jun 30

The JustSayNo twitter account has tweeted that bamboo sticks have been seen on police trucks.

Updated at 08:17 ICT

08:21 ICT Jun 30

On National Road 2 protesters are singing a song rejecting the draft laws. In preparation for the campaign, youth activists and Boueng Kak community rewrote the lyrics to a well-known pop song. The song asserts their rights to free association. You can listen below.

Updated at 08:26 ICT

08:28 ICT Jun 30

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on assembly and association has been following the protests against LANGO.

Cambodians demonstrate against draft NGO and trade union laws outside National Assembly today in Phnom Penh #LANGOMore protests planned this week.

Posted by Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur on assembly and association on Sunday, 28 June 2015

He has been highly critical of the law and in a Phnom Penh Post article earlier this month pointed out some of the major flaws:

Any group of people coming together to pursue a common cause, be it a human rights issue or cleaning up their neighbourhood, is an association. And under this draft, every single one of them will be a criminal organization if they do not register.

You can read the full article here.

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Welcome to our hub for live coverage of significant political and human rights moments in Cambodia.

As situations unfold, we will provide on-the-ground updates from our field monitors and reliable sources, such as journalists and civil society partners.

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