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UN experts call for release of two activists arrested over Kem Ley anniversary

Taing Vida / Khmer Times Share:
Police escort Kong Raiya at the court. KT/Siv Channa

The United Nation rights experts called on the Cambodian authorities to release and drop charges against two men who were arrested in connection with activities marking the third anniversary of murder of political analyst Kem Ley.

On July 11, Phnom Penh Municipal Court charged activist Kong Raiya with incitement to commit a felony over the selling of t-shirts bearing the image and quotes of Mr Ley.

On July 12, the court also charged Soeng Neakpoan, vice president of the Khmer Student Intelligent League Association for incitement to commit a crime after he allegedly distributed leaflets to people.

In a new release issued today, UN experts said they are concerned about the arrest, detention, and criminal charges brought against the pair.

“According to information we have received, both men were engaged in the legitimate exercise of their freedom of speech and Mr Neakpaon was about to participate in a peaceful commemoration ceremony,” the UN experts said.

The Special Rapporteurs also called on the Government to commission an independent body to undertake a transparent and impartial investigation in order to clarify Kem Ley’s murder.

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said the court is still looking into others who may have been involved in the killing of Mr Ley, noting that the investigation is still on-going.

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