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IRI Statement on the Anniversary of an Attack on Demonstrators in Cambodia

March 29, 2008

Washington, DC – “Sunday marks the 11th anniversary of the tragic events of March 30, 1997, when 20 innocent people were killed and more than 100 injured during a peaceful demonstration of Sam Rainsy Party supporters.  We are again reminded that for democracy to truly exist people must have the right to peacefully assemble and freely express themselves.  Those who died on that day or continue to bear the scars of the attack made a terrific sacrifice for democracy and freedom in Cambodia – and that sacrifice should never be forgotten.

“IRI hopes the pre-election atmosphere allows political parties and citizens alike to freely express their views; and that the July 27 national assembly elections will allow all Cambodians to honor the memory of those who perished 11 years ago by courageously exercising their inherent right to freely choose their leaders.

“President Reagan once said, ‘Freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit.’  IRI will continue to stand by the Cambodian people in their pursuit of freedom and a more democratic Cambodia.”  

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