- Title: CAMBODIA: Hundreds march in Phnom Penh at a human rights rally
- Date: 16th November 2012
- Summary: PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (NOVEMBER 16, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS DEMONSTRATORS MARCHING WITH BANNER AND FLAGS POLICE PLACARD READING: "WELCOME H.E. MR. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, THE FATHER OF DEMOCRACY, TO THE KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA" VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS SHOUTING (SOUNDBITE) (Khmer) PHNOM PENH RESIDENT, 39-YEAR-OLD BO CHORVY SAYING: "We want him (Barack Obama) to help people whose land has been taken and people who have been affected by the country's unjust actions. We will ask Barack Obama to help all of us and we hope he will find justice for every one of us in Cambodia." VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS WALKING ON STREET DEMONSTRATOR WITH A PLASTER ON HIS LIPS VARIOUS OF DEMONSTRATORS HOLDING FLAGS AND BANNER EXTERIOR OF VENUE OF 21ST ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS (ASEAN) AND EAST ASIA SUMMIT FORUM VARIOUS OF POLICE ASEAN AND EAST ASIA COUNTRIES FLAGS ASEAN LOGO
- Embargoed: 1st December 2012 12:00
- Location: Cambodia
- Country: Cambodia
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA1PTKDIG8HGZ27Z1JHEK4RBFFD
- Story Text: Nearly a thousand demonstrators rallied in the Cambodian capital on Friday (November 16) ahead of an international summit meeting, hoping to draw attention to what they say are human rights violations in the country.
The rally came ahead of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting and East Asia Summit which will bring together the leaders of regional partners such as U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao as well as the heads of states of South Korea, Japan and Australia will meet their counterparts in the region.
The demonstrators, mostly local human rights activists and civil society group members carried banners with slogans calling for justice and flags of ASEAN countries as they marched peacefully to the National Assembly building in capital Phnom Penh.
They called for leaders to help improve the human rights situation in Cambodia in areas such has child trafficking and land grabbing in order to make way for development.
"We want him (Barack Obama) to help people whose land has been taken and people who have been affected unjust actions by the country. We will ask Barack Obama to help all of us and we hope he will find justice for everyone of us in Cambodia," said a 39-year-old rally participant Bo Chorvy.
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's Cambodian People's Party has been in power for 27 years and has faced criticism from international rights groups for his authoritarian style and in recent years, a succession of land grabs which are seen benefitting foreign companies.
In a report this week, Human Rights Watch said more than 300 people had been killed in politically motivated attacks since an agreement in 1991 that ended a civil war in Cambodia, but not one person had been convicted.
Cambodia holds the rotating ASEAN chair this year.
And despite Cambodia's human rights issues, ASEAN is due to ink a Human Rights Declaration on November 18, on the first day of the summit meeting.
International human rights groups have called on the leaders to postpone the signing, saying that it is "'too flawed to pass", local Cambodia media reported.
Security has been tightened ahead of the meetings.
On Thursday (November 15), local police arrested at least eight people for painting messages on their homes near the capital's airport asking for help from Obama because they were evicted from their houses ahead of his visit as a security measure.
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