Stop Citizen Detention Before Local Festivals


Target: Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia

Goal: Release the hundreds of people being detained in detention centers for no reason.

Police allegedly went around the streets and removed the homeless, street children, drug uses, sex workers and the mentally ill to be placed into detention centers before the festival celebrating the Cambodian People’s Party could begin on the streets of Phnom Penh.

The practice of rounding up people and placing them in detention centers prior to holidays has been reported numerous time across Cambodia. Last year almost all of the people detained were put in Prey Speu, a social rehabilitation center known for claims of torture, rape, and death.

Similar stories come from the detention centers across the country, often called social or drug rehabilitation centers. Specifics have included beatings with rubber hoses, bamboo and palm lashes, electric batons, and all kinds of sexual abuse.

It is estimated that over 100 people were gathered before this holiday, a list that goes from infants taken with their parents to the elderly. In past accounts, the people taken spend long amounts of time being held without charges until they either die in custody or are released.

The citizens didn’t break any laws and gathering them to be detained because they are considered undesirable members of the society is an extreme violation of their human rights. Demand that Cambodia and its supporters close down the centers being used to hold citizens and release everyone detained immediately.


Dear Prime Minister Sun,

For many years there have been allegations that the police around your country have been gathering up and detaining the homeless, drug uses and sex workers on the streets of cities before major festivals could occur. These detained people who have broken no crimes and face no charges are held is conditions reportedly allowing torture, rape, and even the death of these individuals.

Over 100 people are gone from the streets of Phnom Penh before the Cambodian People’s Party Festival, a party you yourself are the head of. Yet, in celebration of this, some of the people of the city were gathered and removed. Festivals are for the enjoyment of all, and the proper way for celebrating shouldn’t be to allow street cleaning of those who live there.

These people need to be released and the practice of removing them for detention should be ended with the centers they go to being closed. They have as much of a right to the festivities and the continuation of their daily lives. Show that all the people of Cambodia will be protected by their police.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Narin Bl

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