Khmer Thavrak
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.

Khmer Thavrak activist Hun Vannak clashes with Prampi Makara district authorities during a rally in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on August 13, 2020. (Khan Leakhena/VOD)

Youth Activist Group Plans 8-Day Protest After Two Members Jailed

The youth activist group that has been largely driving this month’s protests in support of unionist Rong Chhun will again attempt to hold a demonstration against the arrests of government critics — including two of its members now in jail — early next month.