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No Punishment, No Protection: Cambodia's Response to Domestic Violence

February 8, 2018audio available

LICADHO’s report No Punishment, No Protection: Cambodia’s Response to Domestic Violence presents evidence of the failure of the Cambodian justice system to properly protect victims of domestic violence or to punish the perpetrators. It is based on a review of 237 closed domestic violence cases, investigated by LICADHO between the beginning of 2014 and the end of 2016.

Flash News
Supreme Court Upholds Tep Vanny Conviction

February 7, 2018 The conviction of land rights activist Tep Vanny over her participation in a peaceful protest was upheld by the Supreme Court this morning as supporters gathered outside.

No plaintiffs or prosecution witnesses were present at the hearing, preventing cross-examination as was the case at the first instance trial and Appeal Court hearings. Witnesses for the defence, who were present in the courtroom, were not permitted to testify.

At a protest in Phnom Penh on 13 March 2013 – over the jailing of another activist – para-police beat and injured several members of the Boeung Kak Lake community. Nonetheless, Tep Vanny was convicted by Phnom Penh Municipal Court on 23 February 2017 for “intentional violence with aggravating circumstances”, despite a lack of credible evidence.

Vanny’s defence sought to overturn the two years and six months’ sentence as well as fines and compensation to two para-police plaintiffs amounting to 14 million riel ($3,500). Since her arrest on 15 August 2016 (her pre-trial detention officially began four days later), Tep Vanny has spent 541 days behind bars.

The verdict today relates just one of three historic cases which were re-activated in August 2016 while Vanny was awaiting trial on separate charges over a Black Monday protest for the release of five human rights defenders.

Related Material:

CSOs call for charges against NGO leaders to be dropped and an end to ongoing harassment of civil society

January 30, 2018audio available

We, the undersigned civil society organizations (CSOs), call for the charges against three of Cambodia’s most prominent civil society leaders – Mr. Pa Nguon Teang, Venerable But Buntenh, and Mr. Moeun Tola – to be immediately dropped. These baseless charges are clearly a form of intimidation and harassment, aimed at further silencing Cambodian civil society and human rights defenders.

Borei Keila community calls for justice on 6th anniversary of forced eviction

January 2, 2018audio available

Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh marks the sixth anniversary of the violent destruction of their homes and forced eviction on 3 January 2012 to make way for a high rise housing development. The community is still seeking fair compensation and re-location on the site of their former homes.

CSOs call for justice and respect for human rights

December 9, 2017audio available

On the eve of International Human Rights Day (IHRD) we, the undersigned members of Cambodian civil society, call for an end to government attacks on human rights defenders and civil society groups and the lifting of unjustifiable restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Respect for fundamental freedoms is a basic requirement for a functioning civil society. It is also guaranteed by the Cambodian constitution and international law. Civil society organisations (CSOs) have been longstanding contributors to Cambodia’s post-war peace-building efforts, development and the promotion of human rights and democratic principles. The legitimate work of CSOs must be valued and protected as a fundamental pillar of sustainable development, rather than being wrongly characterised as a threat to national security. Despite this, the space for civil society has been dramatically diminished in recent months.

No Punishment, No Protection: Cambodia's Response to Domestic Violence

December 2, 2017

To mark the global campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, running from November 25 to December 10, LICADHO is publishing a new report No Punishment, No Protection: Cambodia’s Response to Domestic Violence. It presents evidence of the failure of the Cambodian justice system to properly protect victims of domestic violence or to punish the perpetrators.

CSOs Call for Immediate Release of Mother Nature Activists

November 14, 2017audio available

We, the undersigned Cambodian and international civil society organisations (CSOs), call for the immediate release of Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy, environmental activists affiliated with the recently deregistered NGO, Mother Nature Cambodia (MNC), who have been wrongfully detained for over two months on spurious charges. We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary nature of their arrest and pre-trial detention, which appears to be an attempt to stifle and punish their legitimate work as environmental human rights defenders.

Restricting Critical Voices on Cambodian Airwaves

September 9, 2017audio available

Radio is a major source of public information for people living in rural parts of Cambodia where Internet access is less common.

In late August 2017, Cambodian authorities ordered the closure of 32 FM radio frequencies across 20 provinces.

The shutdown particularly hit stations relaying independent Khmer-language news: Radio Free Asia (RFA), Voice of America (VOA) and the Cambodian non-profit, Voice of Democracy (VOD) were all taken off the air.

On the First Anniversary of the Grossly Unjust Imprisonment of Land Activist and Human Rights Defender Tep Vanny, CSOs Call for Her Release

August 15, 2017audio available

Tep Vanny, one of Cambodia’s most prominent land activists and human rights defenders, will have spent one year in prison on 15 August for defending her community and exercising her human rights. We, the undersigned, condemn her arbitrary imprisonment. We call for her convictions to be overturned, for all ongoing politically motivated and unsubstantiated charges against her to be dropped, and for her immediate release from prison.

Civil Society Calls for Justice for Tep Vanny at Appeal Court

July 27, 2017audio available

We, the undersigned, call on the Court of Appeal to overturn the unjust conviction of Ms. Tep Vanny on charges of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances based on her peaceful activism at a 2013 protest, for which she received a draconian sentence of two years and six months’ imprisonment on 23 February 2017. The Court of Appeal will hear Ms. Tep Vanny's appeal against conviction tomorrow. On 15 August 2017, Ms. Tep Vanny will have spent one year in detention; her imprisonment is a clear attempt to silence one of Cambodia’s most fearless and outspoken defenders of human rights ahead of the national elections in July 2018.

Photo Album
Events Commemorating the One-Year Anniversary of Kem Ley’s Murder

July 11, 2017

This photo album covers the events that took place in Cambodia on 9 and 10 July 2017 to commemorate the killing of political analyst Kem Ley. Cambodians abroad also paid their respects to Kem Ley, with tributes taking place in Australia and Thailand. On 10 July 2016, Kem Ley was shot twice, in his chest and his head, at the Caltex petrol station in central Phnom Penh. The gunman Oeuth Ang was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2017, however justice has yet to be served due to numerous concerns about the adequacy of the criminal process in both the investigation and the trial.

Joint Open Letter: Request to Create a Commission of Inquiry into the killing of Kem Ley

July 10, 2017

Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the killing of Kem Ley, we, the undersigned, reiterate our concerns regarding the apparent lack of progress in investigating this case, as well as the inadequate investigation and trial of Oeuth Ang, the only person yet convicted or charged in relation to Kem Ley’s death. In light of the inadequacy of the investigation, we urge the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) to establish an independent and impartial Commission of Inquiry, in line with international standards, to continue the investigation.

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

July 8, 2017audio available

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.

The Dangers of Dissent: Attacks on Cambodia’s Human Rights Defenders

July 3, 2017audio available

As Cambodia’s human rights situation continues to backslide, exposing and speaking out against state-perpetrated abuses is ever more crucial. In the last two years, however, human rights defenders and other critical or independent voices have been among the main victims of Cambodia’s fractious political situation.

In this latest in a series of briefing papers, LICADHO sets out threats facing those who stand up for human rights in today’s Cambodia. Long-standing tactics used to silence human rights defenders – judicial harassment by a politicized court system; state-sponsored violence; and intolerance of peaceful protest – have been reinforced by new incapacitating laws and targeted digital surveillance. Although the examples presented in this paper are by no means exhaustive, taken together they provide a snapshot into the kinds of abuses that human rights defenders have been routinely subjected to in Cambodia over the last two years.

CSOs Condemn Discriminatory Denial of Medical Care to Detainees

June 28, 2017audio available

We, the undersigned, condemn the discriminatory and arbitrary denial of medical care to three of the five ‘#Freethe5KH’ detainees at Phnom Penh’s CC1 (Prey Sar) prison facility. Mr. Ny Sokha, Mr. Nay Vanda, and Mr. Yi Soksan have finally been granted access to doctors from the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), after such access had been arbitrarily restricted since April 2017. All three detainees experienced a serious deterioration in their health while the restrictions were in place. They have now been held in pre-trial detention for 426 days, along with their colleague at the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Ms. Lim Mony, and Deputy Secretary General of the National Election Committee and former ADHOC staff member, Mr. Ny Chakrya.

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.

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.

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