Mia Farrow arrives in Cambodia for banned Darfur protest

Agence France Presse
Jan 19 2008

Mia Farrow arrives in Cambodia for banned Darfur protest

PHNOM PENH (AFP) – Actress Mia Farrow has arrived in Cambodia and
plans to defy a ban on holding a ceremony at a former Khmer Rouge
prison, as part of her campaign on Darfur, activists said Saturday.

She arrived in Cambodia with other members of her group on Friday,
said Theary Seng, head of the Centre for Social Development, a
Cambodian advocacy agency helping to organise the ceremony.

Farrow and her group, Dream for Darfur, plan to hold the ceremony on
Sunday outside the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, which is now a
genocide museum, despite the government ban, she said.

"Mia Farrow is now in Cambodia and the rally at Tuol Sleng still
stands," said Theary Seng.

"We strongly urge all political parties to join the ceremony," she
added.

The campaign aims to push China to pressure Sudan into ending the
violence in Darfur, where the United Nations estimates that at least
200,000 people have died in five years of war, famine and disease.

But the government’s chief spokesman, Khieu Kanharith, on Friday
threatened to expel the activists and condemned the event as
"insulting" to victims of the Khmer Rouge regime which devastated
Cambodia during the late 1970s.

"We will not allow this. If this foreign group still insists on doing
this ceremony, we will cancel their visas and expel them from
Cambodia," he said.

Farrow’s group has organised an Olympic-style torch relay through
countries that have suffered genocide to draw attention to China’s
close ties with Sudan, as Beijing prepares to host the Games in
August.

China was also the closest ally of the communist Khmer Rouge, under
whose rule up to two million Cambodians died of starvation, disease
or execution.

Cambodia would be the sixth stop for the group’s relay, which began
in Chad near the Sudanese border and continued to Rwanda, Armenia,
Germany and Bosnia.

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