Phnom Penh authorities today prevented a group of people and monks from gathering to mark the fourth anniversary of assassination of prominent political analyst Kem Ley.
A group of people, including 12 monks were trying to gather this morning at the gas station in Phnom Penh where Ley was gunned down but was blocked by dozens of police officers and district security guards.
Authorities said they banned the gathering to maintain public order amid the COVID-19 outbreaks. At least one young man wearing Kem Ley T-shirt was arrested at the scene and sent to Chamkar Mon district office for questioning.
Ley was shot dead on the morning of July 10, 2016 at the gas station in Phnom Penh as he was having coffee.
Oeuth Ang, or Chuop Samlap, was sentenced to life in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in March 2017 after he was found guilty of slaying Ley.
After several hours of being prevented from gathering, the monks and supporters decided to pray near the gas station, then marched to outskirts of Phnom Penh. They travelled to Ley’s home village in Takeo province in a bid to hold a traditional ceremony.
Soeung Sam Ath, a monk, who made a trip from Battambang province to attend today’s gathering, said that he was disappointed with the authorities.
Ven Sam Ath said the monks and people wanted to pray to Ley’s spirit and called for authorities to find real killer.