Cambodia curbs demonstrations

By Tim Johnston

Published: October 22 2009 03:00 | Last updated: October 22 2009 03:00

Advocates of free speech say a law passed yesterday by Cambodia’s legislature limiting the size of demonstrations is the latest example of increasing intolerance.

The parliament – dominated by the Cambodian People’s party of Hun Sen, prime minister – passed the law with the aim of ensuring “public order and national security”. It limits public demonstrations to a maximum of 200 people.

Demonstrations are a popular form of protest in Cambodia. The opposition, outnumbered in parliament, uses them to make political points, but they are also a last resort for groups of impoverished farmers and slum dwellers who say they are the victims in land disputes with developers and allies of the government.

Tim Johnston, Bangkok

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