( dpa ) - Cambodian police and officials said Monday that the show of force to stop American actress Mia Farrow from staging an anti-China rally at a former Khmer Rouge prison was only increased after she had earlier staged a night-time break-in.
Farrow and supporters from local German-funded organization Center for Social Development (CSD) were stopped from burning a symbolic torch at the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum Sunday when the museum was shuttered and up to 200 police roped off access.
"The problem Sunday was made worse after the actress and a group of supporters forced their way into the museum after closing time Saturday and started taking pictures," Toul Sleng Museum director Chey Sopheara said by telephone.
"They shoved a guard and tried to force a gate. They entered through the guard's entrance and then behaved in a very rude way and made a big problem for our staff," he alleged.
Police confirmed they had received a report of a disturbance at the former torture centre featuring Farrow Saturday night and had stepped up security in light of her group's behavior.
Farrow's global Dream For Darfur rally aims to bring attention to China's economic support of Sudan ahead of the August Beijing Olympics, but Cambodia banned the rally, saying it involved the country in foreign politics and did not respect Khmer Rouge victims.
Up to 16,000 people were tortured or murdered at the former high school which the Khmer Rouge converted into a notorious torture machine. Up to 2 million Cambodians died during its 1975-79 regime.
Sopheara said Farrow and her supporters had toured the centre without incident Saturday morning in the company of journalists, but had returned by themselves after closing time and forced entry.
"After they behaved like that, we had to be careful," he said.
CSD executive Yim So Theara confirmed the group had returned to the genocide museum after closing time and slipped in through the guard's entrance to take pictures, but denied causing any problem.
CSD's American-Khmer director Theary Seng said she was too busy to comment. Farrow left Cambodia Sunday, according to So Theara.