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International relations

Opposition boycotts parliament as Hun Sen moves to regulate NGOs

Cambodian activists demonstrate in Phnom Penh ahead of the passage of a law regulating the country’s NGOs July 13. (Photo by Sebastian Strangio)

PHNOM PENH -- The ruling Cambodian People's Party forced a contentious law regulating the country's large nongovernmental sector through parliament on Monday, amid widespread opposition and fears that the new bill will be used to stifle dissent and muzzle critics of the government.

     The Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations, usually referred to as LANGO, was adopted unanimously by 68 CPP lawmakers after opposition parliamentarians boycotted the vote in protest against the legislation. As the session took place, protesters gathered a few blocks away from the National Assembly, waving banners and wearing stickers amid a heavy police presence.

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