PHNOM PENH – CAMBODIA is making way for ‘freedom parks’ across the country for people to hold demonstrations, a move local activists fear could limit rights of expression, the government said on Monday.
‘All provinces and cities are preparing locations for the freedom parks,’ interior ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak told AFP, adding that local authorities nationwide had been informed about the move.
He said the planned parks, which would provide ‘safety and allow people to express their opinions freely’ from 6am to 6pm (5am to 5pm Singapore time), were required according to a controversial law passed last year.
The legislation restricts the size of demonstrations to 200 people, a measure that opposition members and activists said would be used by authorities to stifle free speech.
People from across Cambodia regularly hold protests near Prime Minister Hun Sen’s home on a number of issues, including a spate of forced evictions across the country over which the government has faced mounting criticism.
Chan Soveth of local rights group Adhoc said the new parks could lower the profile of such demonstrations if they were forced to take place away from the premier’s residence. — AFP
Source: according SE Asia