Joint Statement: A Call for Justice: Civil Society Demands Independent Inquiry in Kem Ley Murder Case

July 08, 2017

One year after the murder of Kem Ley, we, the undersigned civil society groups, believe that justice  has  not  yet  been  served  for  the  late  political  analyst  and  the  family,  friends  and colleagues he left behind.

The well-known political analyst and anti-corruption campaigner was shot dead at point blank range on 10 July 2016 while drinking coffee in a Phnom Penh petrol station. There has been no transparency in the murder investigation, and there are still many unanswered questions in the case.

Despite compelling evidence – including video footage – indicating potential accomplices, only one suspect was charged and convicted in a flawed trial which failed to fully cross examine witnesses  or  investigate  serious  doubts  about  the  killer’s  motive.  Impunity  for  those  not properly held to account for his murder will fuel distrust of the justice system.

We, the undersigned civil society groups, call for an independent inquiry into the silencing of Kem Ley. His murder led to a massive outpouring of emotion from hundreds of thousands of Cambodians who poured into the streets of the capital for his funeral procession. Along with Kem Ley’s family, colleagues and friends they also deserve to see justice served.

Immediately after the murder, a group of UN human rights experts called for “a prompt, thorough and impartial investigation into the crime […] conducted by an independent body with no ties to the government.”1 One year later we have seen that the criminal justice system has failed to protect its citizens’ right to life. With so many unanswered questions, an independent inquiry is the only credible way to seek justice for Kem Ley and his family and friends.

We, the undersigned civil society groups, have not forgotten Kem Ley’s murder and reiterate our previous demand for the investigation to be taken over by an independent inquiry made up of international experts with full access to evidence including CCTV footage from the crime scene. 2 If not, public faith in the judiciary and police will continue to be eroded and the family and friends of Kem Ley will continue to be denied justice.

This statement is endorsed by:

  1. Activity for Environment Community
  2. Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT)
  3. Bak Rotaeh community
  4. Banteay Srey Community
  5. Boeung Chhouk Community
  6. Boeung Kak Community (Kampong Chhnang)
  7. Boeung Kak Lake Community (BKL)
  8. Boeung Pram Community
  9. Boeung Trabek Community
  10. Borei Keila Community (BK)
  11. Bos Snao Community
  12. Buddhism for Peace Organization (BPO)
  13. Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC)
  14. Building Community Voice (BCV)
  15. CamASEAN Youth’s Future (CamASEAN)
  16. Cambodia Development People Life Association (CDPLA)
  17. Cambodia Youth and Monk Network (CMYN)
  18. Cambodia’s Independent Civil Servants Association (CICA)
  19. Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU)
  20. Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
  21. Cambodian Domestic Worker Network (CDWN)
  22. Cambodian Food and Service Worker Federation (CFSWF)
  23. Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)
  24. Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA)
  25. Cambodian Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA)
  26. Cambodian Informal Economic Workers Association (CIWA)
  27. Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC)
  28. Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)
  29. Cambodian NGO Committee on CEDAW (NGO- CEDAW)
  30. Cambodian Youth Network (CYN)
  31. Capacity Community Development Organization (CCD)
  32. Center for Alliance of Labour and Human Rights (CENTRAL)
  33. Cham Kravean Community
  34. Chambak Community (Kampong Speu)
  35. Chambok community (Kampong Cham)
  36. Cheko community
  37. Chi Tron Community
  38. Chikor Leu Land Community
  39. CI5 Community
  40. Coalition for Integrity & Social Accountability (CISA)
  41. Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Domestic Unions (C.CAWDU)
  42. Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC)
  43. Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW)
  44. Community Network in Action (CAN)
  45. Community Peace-Building Network (CPN)
  46. Community Voice Development Organization
  47. Da Commune Community
  48. Equitable Cambodia (EC)
  49. Farmers Association for Peace and Development (FAPD)
  50. Forestry Community
  51. Forestry Stoeung Khsach Sor community
  52. Former Boeung Kak Women Network Community
  53. Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC)
  54. Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC)
  55. Green Vision Organization
  56. Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF)
  57. Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA)
  58. Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ)
  59. Indigenous Youth at Brome Commune, Preah Vihear Province
  60. Indigenous Youth for Community Ratanakiri (IYCR)
  61. Indradevi Association (IDA)
  62. Kampreus community
  63. Khmer Youth Association (KYA)
  64. Land Community, I Village, Preah Sihanouk Province
  65. Lor Peang Land Community
  66. Minor Indigenous Right Organization (MIRO)
  67. Mother Nature
  68. Phnom Bat Community
  69. Phnom Krom Community
  70. Phum 21 Community
  71. Phum 23 Community
  72. Phum Dei Chhnang Community
  73. Phum Prasat Rang Land Community
  74. Phum Samut Leu Community
  75. Phum Sela Khmer Land Community
  76. Phum Thmei Taing Samrong Community
  77. Pong Rok Land Community
  78. Ponlok Khmer
  79. Prek Takung Community
  80. Prek Tanou Community
  81. Prey Chher Pich Sangva Laor Chhert Community
  82. Prey Chher Romeas Hek Community
  83. Raksmey Samaki Community
  84. Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
  85. Samaki 4 Community
  86. Samaki Meanchey Land Community
  87. Sangkom Thmey Land Community
  88. Sdey Krom Rohal Soung Fishery Community
  89. Somros Koh Sdach Fishery Community
  90. SOS International Airport Community
  91. Spean Chhes Community
  92. Sre Prang Community
  93. Ta Noun Land Community
  94. Thmor Kol Community
  95. Toul Rada Community
  96. Toul Sangke B Community
  97. Tourism Employee and Service Union of Grand Diamond City Company
  98. Tourism Employee Union of Poipet Casino Resort Company
  99. Trapaing Anhchanh Thmey Community
  100. Tumnop II Community
  101. Tunlong Community
  102. Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD)
  103. 185K Thida Chambok community
  104. 23 Community
  105. 24 Families Community
  106. 297 Land Community
  107. 92 Community