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Cambodians protest for access to independent media

Phnom Penh - Several hundred supporters of a radio station owner and government critic clashed with police Monday at a rally calling for him to be granted a relay station and a TV licence.

Mam Sonando, whose Beehive radio station is critical of the administration of Prime Minister Hun Sen, has been requesting the relay station and TV licence for years but been told by the Ministry of Information that there are no available frequencies.

Pro-government broadcasters have reportedly been granted licences in that time.

Sonando’s supporters, many having travelled from the countryside to the capital, were blocked from marching to the Ministry of nformation by dozens of police.

Two protesters were injured, and one more was arrested. A similar protest in January was also broken up by police.

Sonando, who regularly addresses issues such as land grabs and corruption, arrived to cheers from the crowd.

"We’re not here today to stage a war. We know freedom will prevail," the slight 72-year-old said.

DPA


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