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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Thursday, October 18, 2018


May Day demonstrators in Cambodia beaten after gathering in defiance of ban

Security forces beat demonstrators

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May Day in Cambodia [Photo:AP] news

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - Security forces beat demonstrators Thursday after a May Day rally held in defiance of a government ban on public protests in the Cambodian capital, reports
Witnesses said civilian auxiliary police, who are armed with clubs and often used by the government to break up protests, attacked demonstrators after opposition leaders had spoken to the crowd and left the rally site. The assaults appeared to be random and limited, and were over in less than an hour.
Nearly 1,000 factory workers and supporters of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party had gathered on the streets outside the city's Freedom Park, which had been barred to demonstrators and sealed off with barbed wire, with hundreds of police on guard. The event was held both to mark the labour holiday and kick off the opposition's campaign for local elections.
A ban on demonstrations has been in place since January, following numerous labour protests for a higher minimum wage and opposition demonstrations denouncing last July's general election as rigged.
Opposition party members have boycotted their seats in the National Assembly, but both the opposition and the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen have said they are close to a deal which would include electoral reforms and moving up the date of the next election.
Hun Sen has been in power for almost three decades, and while Cambodia is formally democratic, his government is authoritarian in nature and known for intimidating opponents. more....

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