PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – Cambodian police blocked Mia Farrow from holding a genocide memorial ceremony Sunday at a Khmer Rouge prison, at one point forcefully pushing her group away from a barricade.
The Cambodian government had barred the ceremony several days ago and police on Sunday sealed off all roads leading to the Khmer Rouge's infamous Tuol Sleng prison, which is now a genocide museum.
The American actress and her group arrived at one of the barricades and refused to go away, according to an Associated Press reporter at the scene. Police started pushing the group, which eventually returned to a waiting car and drove off. Nobody appeared to have gotten hurt.
Farrow could not be immediately reached for comment.
Farrow, who is working with the U.S.-based advocacy group Dream for Darfur, traveled to Cambodia to stage a mock Olympic torch-lighting ceremony at the former prison.
The ceremony was to send a message to China — host of the 2008 Olympics and one of Sudan's major trading partners — to press Khartoum to end abuses in Darfur.
More than 200,000 people have died in Darfur since 2003 when ethnic African rebels took arms against the Arab-dominated central government. Khartoum denies accusations it committed widespread war crimes.
The Cambodian government had said it would prevent the 62-year-old actress from going through with the ceremony because the group had "a political agenda against China" and was holding the event for political rather than humanitarian reasons.
Farrow denied that her intentions were political.
"It's so not a protest but is rather a ceremony" to "honor the victims of Darfur and all genocide survivors and victims," Farrow had said.
The Khmer Rouge's communist regime in the 1970s led to the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians.
Thousands of prisoners of the Khmer Rouge were tortured at Tuol Sleng prison in Phnom Penh before being executed outside the capital at a site known as "the killing fields."