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Cambodia’s Commune Elections 2017

June 3, 2017

On 4 June, Cambodia is going to the polls. After two weeks of election campaigning, twelve political parties are competing for council seats in 1,646 communes across the country. Join us to follow the key events of the 2017 commune elections.

Statement
Cambodian and International CSOs Condemn Removal of Banners Calling for the Release of Human Rights Defenders

May 9, 2017audio available

We, the undersigned Cambodian and international civil society organizations, condemn the removal by district and commune police authorities of banners calling for the release of six human rights defenders. Banners were removed from the offices of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) and Mother Nature in Koh Kong’s Smach Meanchey commune on 2 May 2017, as well as from three residences in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district on 3 May 2017.

Photo Album
International Labour Day 2017 in Cambodia

May 2, 2017

The photo album covers the 2017 International Labour Day celebration in Phnom Penh. More than 1,500 workers and activists gathered in central Phnom Penh, facing barricades and mixed police armed with shields, batons and other weapons. After two hours of negotiations, the group of workers stood their ground and rallied for labour rights, freedom of association, the living wage and better working conditions.

Flash News
⁠⁠⁠Workers gather in capital to celebrate International Labour Day

May 1, 2017 This morning a mixed group of over 1500 trade unionists, workers, farmers, tuk tuk drivers and youths rallied in central Phnom Penh to celebrate International Labour Day and call for respect for workers’ rights, freedom of association, freedom of expression and the living wage.

The peaceful gathering was met with heavy deployments of para-police and riot police carrying batons and tear gas guns. The rally was obstructed by barricades and cordons of mixed forces for over two hours before eventually being permitted to march a short distance towards the National Assembly before again being blocked and prevented from marching the final 200 metres.

Representatives of the gathered groups delivered speeches in which they publicly stated their demands before submitting a petition to a representative of the National Assembly. Earlier in the rally, the authorities attempted to prevent speakers from using microphones. Many participants wore red headbands and emblazoned with the slogan “Our Rights” while others carried banners demanding respect for their rights.

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Statement
After Conviction, Civil Society Demands Independent Inquiry into Murder of Kem Ley

March 23, 2017audio available

Three weeks after a four-hour trial hearing, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today convicted Oeuth Ang – otherwise known as ‘Chuob Samlab’ – of the premeditated murder of prominent political analyst Dr. Kem Ley as well as illegal possession of a weapon under Articles 200 and 490 of Cambodia’s Criminal Code. Presiding judge Leang Samnat sentenced Oeuth Ang to life imprisonment.

Despite compelling evidence that Oeuth Ang was the gunman who shot and killed Dr. Kem Ley, the lack of transparency in the investigation of Dr. Kem Ley’s death, the brevity of the trial proceedings, and the failure to fully investigate motive, potential accomplices and the circumstances of Oeuth Ang's arrest, raise serious concerns about the adequacy of this criminal process. In light of the inadequacies in the investigation into Dr. Kem Ley’s death, as well as in the trial proceedings, we, the undersigned civil society organizations, call for the establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances of his murder, in accordance with international best practices.

Statement
International and Cambodian Civil Society Condemns Continued Arbitrary Detention, Calls for an End to Judicial Harassment and Violence against Human Rights Defenders

March 5, 2017audio available

We, the undersigned international and Cambodian civil society organizations, strongly condemn the brazen attacks carried out against Cambodian human rights defenders over recent weeks, in what appears to be a deliberate strategy by the Cambodian authorities to punish and deter any expression of dissent ahead of the upcoming commune and national elections, scheduled for June 2017 and July 2018 respectively.

Statement
Tep Vanny Convicted Again as Para-Police Attack Supporters

February 23, 2017audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn today’s unjust conviction and sentencing of Tep Vanny and the latest outrageous violence perpetrated by para-police against her supporters outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

Statement
Human Rights Defenders Summonsed as ‘Suspects’ after Being Beaten by Para-Police

February 7, 2017audio available

Two human rights defenders have been summonsed as suspects in relation to violence that occurred when para-police blocked a peaceful World Habitat Day march in October 2016. During the altercation, both men – LICADHO’s Monitoring Manager Am Sam Ath, who was monitoring the event at the time, and Boeung Kak Lake community representative Chan Puthisak, who was documenting the march – were badly beaten by para-police in targeted attacks against them.

Statement
CSOs Call for the Immediate Implementation of the Decision of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

January 21, 2017audio available

Two months after the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s (WGAD) ruled that the ongoing detention of ADHOC staff members Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda, and Yi Soksan, and NEC Deputy Secretary-General, Ny Chakrya is arbitrary, we, the undersigned civil society organizations, reiterate our call upon the Cambodian authorities to implement the decision of the WGAD and immediately release them. Nearly nine months after the five were first detained, Cambodia has taken no action to cease or remedy its unlawful treatment of the five, and remains in a continuing state of non-compliance with its binding legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Our organizations condemn in the strongest terms the failure of the Cambodian authorities to implement the recommendations of the WGAD.

Audio Book
Break the Silence to End Impunity for Rape in the Cambodian Justice System

January 6, 2017audio available

This audio book contains the edited highlights of two radio shows exploring how the Cambodian justice system responds to cases of rape. The shows were originally broadcast during the 2016 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign. In the two clips, a young rape victim and the father of a rape victim describe their experiences of the Cambodian justice system and there is a discussion of the main findings of LICADHO’s most recent report on rape “Getting Away With It – 2016 Update” which reviews the outcomes of cases investigated by LICADHO in 2015.

Statement
In Landmark Decision, UN Body Declares the Detention of Five Human Rights Defenders Arbitrary

December 18, 2016audio available

FIDH, OMCT, CCHR, ADHOC and LICADHO welcome the recent Opinion adopted by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) that recognises the arbitrary nature of the detention of human rights defenders Ny Chakrya, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, and Lim Mony. Our organisations call upon the Cambodian authorities to implement the Opinion of the WGAD by releasing the five human rights defenders immediately and providing them appropriate compensation.

Statement
Civil Society Condemns Upholding of Conviction of Human Rights Defender Ny Chakrya

December 15, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn in the strongest terms the upholding of the unjustified conviction of the former Head of the Human Rights and Monitoring Section of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and current Deputy Secretary-General of the National Election Committee (NEC), Mr. Ny Chakrya, in a verdict handed down by the Court of Appeal today.

Photo Album
Justice 2016: Celebrating International Human Rights Day Across Cambodia

December 13, 2016

Over 11,000 people across Cambodia joined together in a series of events to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2016. Celebrations organised by Friends of December 10 across the country saw 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.

Statement
Thousands Celebrating International Human Rights Day across Cambodia

December 6, 2016audio available

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.

Statement
Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories

December 2, 2016audio available

On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, LICADHO publishes its report “Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories” which presents evidence of the widespread use of contemporary forms of slavery in Cambodia’s brick manufacturing industry. It finds that despite the existence of comprehensive and long-standing legislation criminalizing the use of debt bondage and prohibiting child labour, competent authorities are making no efforts to eradicate them and are in fact enabling their survival.

Photo Album
Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories

December 2, 2016

To accompany publication of the report “Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories” LICADHO is releasing this photo album which shows the different elements of the brick-making process and the living and working conditions of the adults and children who make the bricks.

Briefing
Getting Away With It – 2016 Update

November 28, 2016audio available

A year ago, to mark the 2015 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence campaign, LICADHO published a report Getting Away With It: The Treatment of Rape in Cambodia’s Justice System. The report was based on cases investigated by LICADHO in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and found that there were grave and systemic flaws in how rape cases are prosecuted in Cambodia and as a result, a disturbingly low number of convictions. There were several reasons for this: the extensive use of financial compensation to settle cases, widespread corruption amongst the police and the judiciary, poor understanding and application of the law by judges, and the prevalence of discriminatory attitudes towards women.

Statement Civil Society Deeply Concerned by Actions Taken to Disrupt, Prevent and Halt Voter Registration Campaigns During Water Festival

November 25, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, are outraged by actions taken by authorities to disrupt, prevent and halt voter registration education and dissemination activities undertaken by youth volunteers in Phnom Penh and the provinces during Water Festival, an annual Cambodian celebration (13, 14, 15 November 2016). Over 60 youth volunteers, including from PEP-Center, YRDP, KYSD, NICFEC, CPWP and SEPY, faced numerous challenges during the three days’ activities.

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