Human Right situation

លោក សួង នាគព័ន្ធ​ បានកាន់​ខិត្តប័ណ្ណ​មានភ្ជាប់សារ​ “បញ្ឈប់ការ​សម្លាប់​មនុស្សក្រៅ​ប្រព័ន្ធច្បាប់”​ អំឡុងពេល​ប្រារព្វពិធី​រំលឹក​ខួប​៣ឆ្នាំ​នៃឃាតកម្មលើ​អ្នកវិភាគ​នយោបាយ​ លោកបណ្ឌិត ​កែម ឡី។

Arrest Of Two Activists Highlights Authorities’ Lack Of Respect For Freedom Of Expression And Assembly

July 12, 2019 – We, the undersigned civil society groups, denounce the unjustified use of security personnel during the third anniversary of political commentator Kem Ley’s death and call for the immediate and unconditional release of two activists, Kong Raiya and Soung Neakpaon, from detention and the dropping of all charges against them.

Both men were arrested for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression while commemorating the anniversary of the death of political commentator Kem Ley, who was murdered on 10 July 2016. Shortly after their arrests, both men were charged with criminal incitement under Articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code and are being detained at Phnom Penh’s Correctional Center 1.

Kong Raiya, 28, and three family members were arrested on 9 July 2019 after Raiya advertised in a Facebook post that he was selling t-shirts featuring the image of Kem Ley. He also posted the number of a taxi driver who could bring people to Phnom Penh to participate in a ceremony to remember the slain analyst. It is based on these actions that authorities have charged Kong Raiya with “incitement to commit felony” – a baseless allegation that violates his right to peaceful expression, guaranteed under Article 41 of Cambodia’s Constitution. Raiya was previously arrested in August 2015 and sentenced to 18 months in prison under identical spurious charges in relation to a separate Facebook post.

Soung Neakpaon, 29, was arrested the day after Raiya, on 10 July 2019, outside of the Caltex Bokor petrol station where Kem Ley was murdered three years earlier. Neakpaon, a former member of Kem Ley’s youth group, was attending a commemorative ceremony at the station, but was arrested along with twin brothers and activists – Chum Hout and Chum Hour – both of whom were carrying a flower wreath to place near the station. The twin brothers were released the same day.

Prior to his arrest, Neakpaon was holding a sign that read “End extrajudicial killings,” an opinion that actively discourages all people and institutions from committing a felony offence. His arrest and charges mark yet another low point in the government’s crackdown on free speech and peaceful assembly in Cambodia.

The charges against these individuals effectively criminalise the remembrance of Kem Ley, such as the attending of commemorative ceremonies or the wearing of t-shirts with his image and quotations. The respected political analyst was shot in broad daylight in July 2016, with the case never receiving an independent or thorough investigation. The accusation that a peaceful gathering merits a prison sentence is a serious and systematic threat to the little remaining space left for freedom of expression in the country.

These arrests took place as events in Phnom Penh and across several provinces were also restricted by authorities, who told organisers that they required prior permission to hold events marking the anniversary of Kem Ley’s murder. Organisers in Banteay Meanchey, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, and Kandal provinces reported being threatened with a police presence that was deployed to monitor the events, and the event in Phnom Penh was surrounded by more than 50 officers who aggressively disrupted the peaceful activities, seizing flowers and ordering people to remove their shirts. Members of the Grassroots Democracy Party, a political party co-founded by Kem Ley, were stopped outside their Phnom Penh offices on the way to the Caltex Bokor gathering and then to a ceremony in Takeo, Ley’s home province.

We reiterate our call for the government to respect the right to freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 41 of the Cambodian Constitution and Article 19(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and call for the immediate and unconditional release of both Kong Raiya and Soung Neakpaon and the dropping of all charges against them.

This statement is endorsed by:
1. 24 Families Community (Preah Sihanouk)
2. 92 Community (Phnom Penh)
3. 297 Land Community (Koh Kong)
4. Activities for Environment Community (AEC)
5. Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT)
6. Angdoung Trabek Land Community (Svay Rieng)
7. Areng Indigenous Community (Koh Kong)
8. Bat Khteah Community (Preah Sihanouk)
9. Boeng Chhuk Community (Phnom Penh)
10. Boeung Pram Community (Battambang)
11. Borei Keila Community (Phnom Penh)
12. Bos Sa Am Community (Battambang)
13. Buddhism for Peace Organization (BPO)
14. Building and Wood Workers Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC)
15. Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU)
16. Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
17. Cambodia’s Independent Civil Servants Association (CICA)
18. Cambodian Development People Life (CDPLA)
19. Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)
20. Cambodian Food and Service Workers’ Federation (CFSWF)
21. Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA)
22. Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)
23. Cambodian NGO Committee on CEDAW
24. Cambodian Youth Network (CYN)
25. Chek Meas Land Community (Svay Rieng)
26. Cheko Community (Phnom Penh)
27. Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL)
28. Chikor Kraom Land Community (Koh Kong)
29. Chikor Leu Land Community (Koh Kong)
30. Chorm Kravean Community (Kampong Cham)
31. C I 5 Community (Preah Sihanouk)
32. Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (C.CAWDU)
33. Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community Association (CCFC)
34. Coalition of Integrity and Social Accountability (CISA)
35. Collective Union of Movement of Workers (CUMW)
36. Equitable Cambodia (EC)
37. Forestry and Natural Resource Community (Pursat)
38. Free Trade Union of Workers of Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC)
39. Gender and Development Cambodia (GADC)
40. Horng Samnom Community (Kampong Speu)
41. Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA)
42. Independent Monk Network for Social Justice (IMNSJ)
43. Indigenous Youth at Brome Community (Preah Vihear)
44. Indradevi Association (IDA)
45. Koh Sralao Fishery Community (Koh Kong)
46. Koh Sdach Fishery Community (Koh Kong)
47. Koh Sdach Land Community (Koh Kong)
48. Lor Peang Land Community (Kampong Chhnang)
49. Mlup Prom Vihea Thor Center (Koh Kong)
50. Moeunchey Land Community (Svay Rieng)
51. Mother Nature Cambodia (MNC)
52. Ou Tracheak Chet Community (Preah Sihanouk)
53. People Center for Development and Peace (PDP-Center)
54. Phnom Bat Community (Phnom Penh)
55. Phnom Sleuk Community (Battambang)
56. Phsar Kandal Village Land Community (Banteay Meanchey)
57. Phum 22 Community (Phnom Penh)
58. Phum Kdeb Thmor Land Community (Banteay Meanchey)
59. Phum Dei Chhnang Community (Kampong Speu)
60. Phum Sela Khmer Land Community (Banteay Meanchey)
61. Ponlok Khmer (PKH)
62. Poy Japan Land Community (Koh Kong)
63. Preah Vihear Kouy Indigenous Community
64. Prek Ksach Land Community (Koh Kong)
65. Prek Takung Community (Phnom Penh)
66. Prek Tanou Community (Phnom Penh)
67. Prey Chher Kbal Kla Community (Kompong Thom)
68. Prey Chher Pich Sangva Laor Chhert Community (Kampong Chhnang)
69. Prey Long Community (Kampong Thom)
70. Prey Peay Fishery Community (Kampot)
71. Rum Cheik Land Community (Siem Reap)
72. Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT)
73. Sdey Krom Fishery Community (Battambang)
74. Skun Land Community (Siem Reap)
75. Spean Chhes Community (Preah Sihanouk)
76. Sre Prang Community (Kampong Cham)
77. Ta Noun Land Community (Koh Kong)
78. Ta Trai Village Land Community (Banteay Meanchey)
79. Thmor Da Land Community (Pursat)
80. Toul Samrong Community (Kampong Chhnang)
81. Trapaing Anhchanh Thmey Community
82. Trapaing Chor Community (Kampong Speu)
83. Trapaing Krasaing Land Community (Siem Reap)
84. Tumnop II Community (Pursat)
85. Urban Poor Women Development (UPWD)
86. Village 1 Land Community
87. Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)

PDF format: Download full statement in English – Download full statement in Khmer

Police Arrest Activists at Kem Ley Murder Anniversary

On the morning July 10, 2019, about 100 members of NGOs, youths and human rights activists were monitored by authorities and often stopped or moved when trying to gather at Star Mart Caltext gasoline station, to mark the 3 year anniversary of the murder of the prominent social and political analyst Kem Ley on June 10, 2016. At the same time, 3 people were detained and taken to away while they were trying to get involved in the event. The attempt to prohibit Kem Ley’s supporters from a peaceful gathering violated the Constitution as well as the Law on Peaceful Demonstration even though representatives of this event notified the event to Phnom Penh Capital Hall following procedures required by domestic law.


Photos provided to STT by community members

Questioning and violation of rights of Community Leader by police at World Habitat Day event in Prek Takong 60 Metres

At around 8.30am, police and authorities from Chak Angre Leu Sangkat arrived at Prek Takong 60 Metre community and began to cancel the World Habitat Day (WHD) event being held by the community. Police informed the community that the event was illegal and a community representative was then arrested and taken to the Sangkat office. The community representative was then shown a letter and asked to place their thumbprint on it. The letter stated that the community representative will not celebrate any events in the future without asking for prior permission from the Municipality of Phnom Penh and Ministry of Interior.

In addition, the police questioned the community representative, asking specifically who had helped to support the event and implying that they knew NGOs were “behind this”.

Photos provided to STT by community members

The community representative was then released from the Sangkat office at around 10:00am after putting their thumbprint on the letter mentioned. The community representative was told they were not allowed to leave until they put their thumbprint on the letter.

Last week, Prek Takong 60 Metre community informed local authorities of their intention to hold a WHD event and authorities said it would be illegal to do so. The community followed procedures under the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations (2009) and has not violated this law.

Photos provided to STT by community members

This community is located in the Boeung Tompoun lake area, which is a hotbed for land conflicts as much of the area is under development by the ING Holdings group.


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

Boeng Kak New Year’s Blowout Draws Ire

Organizers of an $80-a-head, nationally-televised New Year’s Eve bash on the site of the former Boeng Kak lake are “dancing on Boeng Kak people’s tears,” an evictee from the neighborhood said on Tuesday.
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Foreign NGOs Reveal Escalating Pressure

Foreign NGOs in Cambodia say they are treading more carefully since a stricter registration regime was introduced last year under a new NGO law, with some claiming that it has been used as a threat to constrict their activities.
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Release of ‘Political Prisoners’ Uncertain, CPP and CNRP Say

Almost three weeks after acting CNRP President Kem Sokha met with Prime Minister Hun Sen and reportedly put the wheels in motion for four officers from rights group Adhoc and an election official to be freed from prison, officials on Monday indicated that no progress had since been made.

Speaking to reporters after a session at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh, Interior Minister Sar Kheng, who heads the CPP’s parliamentary group, said the parties had yet to continue their discussions over the release.

“There is no change. Generally, we work hard to set the time to meet each other. But at the end of the year, I am busy,” Mr. Kheng said.

“Until now, I don’t know what is going on with the court process. Because it is involved with the courts, and we cannot do it instead of the courts,” he said.

Following a meeting between Mr. Sokha and Mr. Hun Sen on December 7 that appeared to signal a new political detente between the ruling CPP and opposition CNRP, Mr. Kheng had said, “Maybe by the end of December there will be a resolution of the cases of human rights officials and the deputy secretary-general of the NEC.”

The CNRP was less cautious, with Kem Monovithya, the party’s deputy director of public affairs, tweeting after the meeting that the five would be freed by the end of the year.

“Imprisoned opposition commune chief, 4 rights workers and 1 election official will be free before end of this month,” she wrote at the time.

Ms. Monovithya did not respond to an online message on Monday when asked if she still expected that result.

Opposition spokesman Yim Sovann said he was not aware of any discussion between the parties about the release of the five since the December 7 meeting. He said he was “a little bit worried” about the release being stalled.

“I am not pessimistic, but not optimistic,” he said. “Sometimes we should stay a little bit quiet and wait to see what developments are going on.”

The four Adhoc officials—Lim Mony, Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha and Yi Soksan—and election official Ny Chakrya, who previously worked for Adhoc, have now been in prison for 243 days without a trial.

International human rights and legal groups have condemned the case, and local rights group Licadho includes the five on its list of 26 political prisoners in the country. Earlier this month, the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention declared the five “have been discriminated against based on their status as human rights defenders.”

Source: cambodiadaily

NGO Workers Blocked, Detained

Seven civil society organizations criticized the government yesterday after a working group was harassed by provincial authorities and blocked from making a video about a land dispute in Sangkum Thmey village in Pursat province.

The Pursat provincial hall claimed they did not detain the members of the working group and only questioned them because they wanted to “strengthen management and protection of natural resources.”

Civil society groups, they said, were trying to distort information about simple “administrative measures” and were accusing the provincial government “of covering a bad purpose.”

They wrote in a statement that civil society groups wanted to “incite people and cause chaos” under the guise of human rights protection.

Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) staff member Buth Vanndy and three film producers were hired by international NGO ActionAid Cambodia to make a video and interview local residents affected by forced evictions and agro-industrial development projects operated by timber tycoon Try Pheap, according to a statement released on Saturday by the seven civil society organizations involved.

The four were stopped at a checkpoint in Veal Veng district and authorities said filming in the area was banned, despite no existing ban on filming.

“Environmental police did not provide any reason to prevent movement or restrictions on the activities of the working group and the district governor did not give any reason why he wanted to meet CCHR’s staff,” the statement said.

The organizations wrote that their case was an example of the restrictions on the ability of civil society groups to work freely in Cambodia and called on local authorities to cease all threats, harassment and intimidation of NGO workers.

CCHR’s Mr. Vanndy said they managed to get around the road blocked by local authorities after about an hour with help from local Thma Da commune residents. But he was disheartened that the government officials were not willing to work with civil society organizations and were hostile toward people who were only interested in solving land disputes.

He said the efforts to stop their work confused him because of their unwillingness to address, help or resolve local land disputes.

“We had no purpose or work to do something against the government, which means that we are helping to develop it all together,” he said.

“But we see that some locations are inappropriate. We also recommend things to make it better but I still regret the non-cooperation from them [authorities].”

Source: khmertimeskh

Projects being ‘built on lies’

Ny Sophannak, a 42-year-old mother of three, lives in a small house on a tiny alley behind Wat Thann just off Sothearos Boulevard. Ten years ago, she was among 800 families violently evicted from the nearby Dey Krahorm community on what she says were false pretenses.
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Rights Day events to dot the Kingdom

More than 500 people conducted a march and held a public forum yesterday in Siem Reap, with thousands more expected to conduct their own events around the country to mark International Human Rights Day on Saturday.

Rights group Licadho released a statement yesterday saying that 35 events across 17 provinces will be held in the run-up to the weekend, with bigger events in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Sisophon and Sihanoukville planned.

Soeung Saran, acting executive director at Sahmakum Teang Tnaut, said the various groups included land disputants, workers and youth activists, but that all of them were following a single theme: Justice 2016.

“We have seen many injustices happening [this year], especially to vulnerable people,” he said. “That is why we have chosen this theme.”

He added that a planned march in Phnom Penh on Saturday had been changed to a public forum, after the permission for the march was rejected by City Hall. Mep Meas Pheakdey, City Hall spokesman, meanwhile said he had yet to receive a request for the forum, but that the municipality would reject any events planned for public spaces.


Thousands Celebrating International Human Rights Day across Cambodia

December 6, 2016 – From December 2 until December 10, a series of 35 events across Cambodia will see thousands of people in 17 provinces and Phnom Penh celebrate International Human Rights Day 2016.

Events will largely take place in rural Cambodia, where grassroots groups including communities affected by land conflicts, youth networks, associations, and monks as well as unions and NGOs around the country will hold a series of celebrations under the theme of ‘Justice2016’. In Phnom Penh and four of Cambodia’s provincial towns – Siem Reap, Battambang, Sisophon and Sihanoukville – larger events will see groups from surrounding communities coming together to celebrate in solidarity.

Celebrations will include public forums to discuss current human rights issues, theatre performances, petitions to local authorities on local and national human rights concerns, Buddhist religious ceremony with connecting to human rights issues, and marches through provincial districts and towns.

International Human Rights Day will offer an opportunity to demonstrate solidarity, perseverance and celebration of hard-fought human rights. With less than a year to go before commune elections – and as repressive laws are rolled out, dissenting voices silenced, and human rights defenders imprisoned – it is more important than ever to speak out against attacks on human rights. Celebrations this year will see thousands speak on issues such as free and fair elections, land rights, a living wage for workers, a free and fair judiciary and an end to attacks on fundamental freedoms.

‘Laws are being used to stifle us, imprison us and silence us,’ said Tim Malay, President of Cambodian Youth Network (CYN). ‘Youth are the future of Cambodia, and we need a future in which human rights are celebrated and upheld by the powerful as well as the poor.’

Despite a year of consistent attacks on democracy and civil society, the continued use of the judiciary to silence and threaten activists, and the lack of any governmental commitment to uphold land rights and labour rights, activists across Cambodia will continue to protest injustice, demand their rights and call for change.

‘We are still losing land, workers are still struggling for a living wage, and when we protest, we are imprisoned’, said Song Srey Leap, Boeung Kak Lake community representative. ‘We celebrate International Human Rights Day, but we also demand change – we want justice.’

‘Workers struggling to survive have been hit by a new Trade Union Law and other harmful laws’, said Sar Mora, President of Cambodian Food Service Workers Federation (CFSWF). ‘International Human Rights Day is a time to celebrate together, and to challenge laws which affect our lives’.

‘Our theme for International Human Rights Day this year is ‘Justice2016’ because justice is essential for peace and prosperity in Cambodia,’ said Am Sam Ath, LICADHO’s Monitoring Manager. ‘And without an independent judiciary, justice and peace are not possible’.

Friends of December 10th invite all friends and media to attend the IHRD celebrations. Please contact those listed below for more information on IHRD events in the provinces and in Phnom Penh.

For more information, please contact:
▪ Mr. Am Sam Ath, LICADHO Monitoring Manager, 012 327 770
▪ Mr. Soeung Saran, Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) Acting Executive Director, 089 666 013
▪ Mr. Sar Mora, President of Cambodian Food Service Workers Federation (CFSWF), 016 525 781

Court Extends Detention of Adhoc Officials


Four senior officials for rights group Adhoc and a top election official, who have been imprisoned for six months over bribery charges, face an additional six months in provisional detention after court officials decided on Thursday to take additional time to investigate the case.
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ឯកឧត្តម ប៉ា សុជាតិវង្ស ៖ «គ្មានខ្មែរឯណាធ្វើបាបខ្មែរខ្លួនឯងនោះទេ»

ភ្នំពេញ៖ ឯកឧត្តម ប៉ា សុជាតិវង្ស អភិបាលនៃគណៈអភិបាលរាជធានីភ្នំពេញ បានជួបពិភាក្សាជាមួយលោកស្រី រ៉ូណា ស្មីត អ្នករាយការណ៍ពិសេសអង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិ ទទួលបន្ទុកសិទ្ធិមនុស្សនៅកម្ពុជា កាលពីថ្ងៃទី១១ ខែតុលា ឆ្នាំ ២០១៦ ។
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Beoung Kak community still demands for the release of human right defenders and their representative

Beoung Kak community activists gathered on Monday this morning to conduct press conference demanding for resolution for their land issues and intervention to release Mrs. Tep Vanny and 4 ADHOC staffers, and one NEC official, who have been in pre-trial detention for months.

Mrs. Tep Vanny and Mrs. Bov Sophea were arrested in the evening of August 17 while they were running Black Monday campaign in their community to demand for the release of four human rights defenders of ADHOC and NEC official.

On 22 August, Phnom Penh Municipal court decided against Mrs. Bov Sophea and Mrs. Tep Vanny. Both were charged with insulting public officials which resulted in 6 days imprisonment Mrs. Bov Sophea was released later that day, while Mrs Tep Vanny has not been still put in pre-trial detention regarding the protest outside the house of Prime Minister Hun Sen since 2013.

Beoung Kak community members organized protests for past 15 weeks, as part of Black Monday campaign in order to demand for the release of human right defenders and NEC official, who were arrested on May 2, in the case of Khom Chandaraty called Srey Mom who has been penetrated that had an affair with opposition leader Kem Sokha.

Joint Letter to US Secretary of State John F. Kerry

Phnom Penh, January 25, 2016

Dear Secretary Kerry,

We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, urge you to call on the Royal Government of Cambodia to commit to upholding human rights and democratic obligations as a condition of strong and prosperous relations with the United States of America. During your visit to Phnom Penh ahead of the US-ASEAN special summit at Sunnylands we request you to consider the numerous actions of the Cambodian government that clash with the fundamental values of the United States of America and are harmful to the rights of Cambodian citizens and the economic growth of Cambodia.

Kerry Phnom Penh letter endorsed by Union_Community and NGO_Page_1 Kerry Phnom Penh letter endorsed by Union_Community and NGO_Page_2

New Year, Same Issues

Nick Jones (February 5th, 2015)

Last month, Surya Subedi ended his six-year mandate as the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia. During his final news conference, he stressed that Prime Minister Hun Sen must make a more concerted effort to make government institutions—such as the judicial courts—more independent. “Many of the state institutions responsible for upholding people’s rights are unfortunately still lacking accountability and transparency needed to command the trust and confidence of the people”. However, he has seen progress in regard to the growing public demand for their rights. “People have woken up… and they are ready to fight for their rights…so far, the courts of Cambodia have not delivered justice in the way demanded by all Cambodians” (Reuters, Jan 23rd).

Human Rights Watch (HRW), recently released its annual World Report. They found that “2014 was one of Cambodia’s worst years in recent history in terms of human rights violations, citing ‘killings by security forces, arrests of activists and opposition politicians, summary trials and crackdowns on peaceful protest’” (Phnom Penh Post, Jan 30th).

In November of last year, 19 land rights activists were controversially arrested and sentenced to prison by a court the following day. These activists (including residents of the Boeung Kak, Thmor Kol, and Toul Kork communities; monks; and CNRP members) recently had their appeal denied by a court whose proceedings were notable for their lack of due process.

Skip forward to this year, on February 4th, the Phnom Penh Post reported that the authorities in Battambang town have notified 600 families living in Prek Preah Sdech commune that they need to relocate to make way for the construction of a large public garden. The villagers’ have been told that they live there illegally and are expect to leave as soon as possible. Some families have lived there for over 20 years and have very little hope of receiving adequate compensation to relocate.

On the same day, “more than 100 families in Rattanakkiri’s O’Chum district are demanding a solution after a Chinese company allegedly bulldozed their land and [about 300] nearby family graves to create a rubber plantation” (Phnom Penh Post, Feb 4th). The clearing began on Sunday, February 1st, and only stopped when villagers protested in front of the vehicles. A representative of the company stated that they had already received permission from the government to clear the land. He even made the extraordinary claim that “[the villagers] want to grab the state [land] and control it privately”.

Despite clear warnings from the UN envoy for Cambodia and unflattering reports from internationally recognized organizations, the government remains indifferent to the basic human rights of the people it is supposed to protect. In Cambodia, ‘strong government’ is not synonymous with ‘good governance’. Expect a similarly scathing evaluation in next year’s report from Human Rights Watch.

Monks, Land activists, youth and CSOs garthered in front of the National Assembly

In the morning of the 18th of December 2014 at 8 AM, monks, community, land activists, youth and civil society organizations gathered in front of the National Assembly to called for the release of 18 activists currently in jail.

First, the group gathered in front of the National Assembly to request a response on the petition filed on the 14th of November 2014. This initial petition was presented to the National Assembly for Ministry officials and the president of the Municipal Court to release the 18 activists who include men, women and monks.

Second, the group gathered in front of the Ministry of Justice to deliver a new petition to push the Supreme Court to retrial the 18 activists by taking into consideration the human rights of the activists, ensuring that the proceedings are just.

Finally, the group arrived in front of the Royal Palace to provide another petition to the King to intervene in the release of 8 female land and human rights activists, who part of the 18 activists. These women have been on hunger strike for the past 8 days, and they may face death without intervention as their health is extremely poor.

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The 23 found guilty but released

On May 30, 2014 at 9am, Phnom Penh Municipal Court has announced the verdict to release the 23. Mr. Vorn Pov, Theng Savoeurn, Chan Puthisak and other were arrested in early January this year. The accused were found guilty but with suspended sentences.

There were over 300 protesters overjoyed the announcement. The community members, families and civil society organization will move to CC1 (Prey Sor prison) this afternoon to welcome the 21 who will walk free with a few hours.

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The hearing for the 23 continues while violence occurred outside the courthouse

At 8:00 am, May 20, 2014, over 300 peoples from land and housing affected communities, farmers and monks were gathering in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Court to call for justice and release Mr. Vorn Poa, Mr. Chan Puthisak, Mr. Teng Savouen, and others 18 victims who were arrested since early January 2014, while a number of Human Right observers from different NGOs monitored the case very closely.


While the hearing is ongoing at municipal court, the violence occurred outside the courthouse where the barricades and riots police blocked the rallied from moving forward to the courthouse. The security guards of the City Hall tried to push the protesters back and far from the barricades, with kicking the monks and protesters caused the situation tension between the protesters and polices. However, there were no serious violence after the protesters moved up together to protect the monks from being beaten from the security guards.

There were many polices with 3 Fire Trucks, blocking the road in front of the Municipal Court while the trial of the 23 was in the process.

The trial has started again at 2:00 pm and ended up at 4 pm. It will be continued to tomorrow at 8 am, as promised by the court.



The trial of 23 delayed once again to May 20

Not different from last month. Since early in the morning, the police had already blocked off all roads around the courthouse and the street in front of the courthouse on Monireth Boulevard across from Olympic Stadium. While Vorn Pao, Chan Putisak, Theng Savoeun and the others already brought in the courtrooms.

Over than 400 people rallied in front of the two side barricades one in front of Preah Puth Pagoda and the another one at the corner next to the Tela Gas Station on the south, the gathering including community activists from different urban poor communities, garment workers, union, monks and family of the 23. Supporters have stood at the police barricades making speeches over loudspeakers, with “Free the 23” logos, lotus flowers adorning their T-shirts. While the Human Rights activists only can monitor the situation from the distance. The Human Rights activists and journalists were kicked out by the police from staying closely to the barricade or moving closely to the police and the courthouse.

About at 4pm, the message from the courthouse, the trial of 2 from Stung Meanchey will be announced verdict on May 30. While the 23 case will continue to interview witnesses of case Veng Sreng Street, as well as, continuing interview Vorn Pao, Chan Puthisak and Theng Savoeun in Yak Jin case. The hearing of 23 delayed to May 20. The 21 confirmed back to CC1.

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The 21 on bail hearing at Supreme Court delayed its verdict to May 9

On May 2, 2014, started from 8:30 am, more than 100 people coming from land communities, monks network, labor groups, tuk tuk and motodob drivers were gathered outside the Supreme Court, to support and call for the release of 21. While number of Human Right observers from different NGOs monitored the case very closely out and inside courthouse.

Until 11: 00 am, Mr. Sam Sokong the lawyer of Mr. Vorn Pao and other victims got out the court and told that the verdict will be announced on May 9. The protesters and the families of the victim were so disappointed to hear the verdict delayed.

See pictures and Videos

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The trial of the 23 delayed to May 6

The long-awaited trial of Vorn Pao, Chan Putisak, Teng Savoeurn and the 18 arrested during strike demonstrations on January 2nd and 3rd, and 2 arrested at Stung Meanchey, during the garment workers strike in November, 2013, began this morning at 8 am at Phnom Penh Municipal Court and is proceeding into the afternoon.

Since early in the morning, the police had already blocked off all roads around the courthouse and the street in front of the courthouse on Monireth Boulevard across from Olympic Stadium.

About 400 people rallied in front of the two side barricades, including community activists from different urban poor communities, garment workers, union and family of the 23. , supporters have stood at the police barricades making speeches over loudspeakers, with “Free the 23” logos, lotus flowers adorning their T-shirts and painted on their faces. While some hundred Human Rights activists keep an eyes on.

As the detainees sat in holding rooms before the trial started, rights workers, observers and others negotiated with police outside the court for tickets allowing them into one of three courtrooms where the trials are being held.

At around 9am, BKL activist Yorn Bopha, Khek Chanrasmey, Nget Khum and others community representatives have been crossing one barricade and running toward the courthouse only to be stopped by police forces and physically carried back.

About at 4pm, the message from the courthouse said that the prison guards entered the courtroom ordered the hearing to stop, since they needed to bring back all the prisoners back to prison. The hearing delayed to May 6.The 21 confirmed back to CC1, but not CC3 according the reliable source from the prison.

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See the Video bellow!