Social Issues
Eng Malai, also known as So Metta, participates in a protest in Phnom Penh on September 8, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Before Her Arrest, Khmer Thavrak Activist Spoke of Jail, Love for Nation

Khmer Thavrak started from a core group of about 30 activists in January, Metta explained, with small groups of four or five people sporadically joining over the past nine months. She too joined that way: Metta worked as a chef in a Kratie restaurant, and later in a Chinese restaurant in Phnom Penh, but she was always following social issues in the news.

Protesters in Phnom Penh walk past a UN vehicle on September 7, 2020. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

Activist Tailed by Police, Sought Help From UN Before Arrest

A group of four Khmer Thavrak protesters believed their tuk-tuk was being tailed by police and asked the driver to make random turns before heading to a U.N. office for help. Eventually, one of the four was arrested outside her home, another member said.

Vorn Pao, president of tuk-tuk drivers union Independent Democracy of Informal Economic Association (IDEA), speaks at an NGO event in November 2018. (Chorn Chanren/VOD)

7 Labor, Youth Groups Targeted in Police Survey

Police have targeted seven unions and associations for a “survey” of employees and their documentation, though a police official said the project has been put on hold for now after investigating two of the groups.

Wanchalearm Satsaksit, a Thai pro-democracy activist, in a screenshot from a video posted to his Facebook page on June 3, 2020, the day before he was abducted in Phnom Penh.

Imprint of Abducted Thai Activist Begins to Fade From Neighborhood

Three months after a Thai activist was allegedly abducted from outside a Chroy Changvar district apartment, neighbors say other Thai regulars who used to be seen in the area are no longer around, while apartment management denies the man had even lived there.