Latest Human Rights News

Follow us on facebook or on twitter Photo Album
Celebrating Human Rights Day 2018

December 10, 2018

Communities, associations, trade unions and other civil society groups celebrated Human Rights Day in Cambodia between 5 and 10 December 2018. Despite ongoing intimidation and restrictions from authorities more than 7,000 people in 14 provinces and the capital participated in theatre, music, parades and discussions. They called on the government to respect human rights and tackle long standing violations, not least unresolved land grabbing cases.

Video
"Our Tears Are Our Strength": Women Human Rights Defenders

December 10, 2018audio available

This video, part of the campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, highlights the determination and resilience of Cambodia’s Women human rights defenders, who stand up to state violence aimed at silencing them.

Article
Cambodia Civil Society Restrictions Still in Place on Human Rights Day

December 10, 2018audio available

Phnom Penh municipality banned a Human Rights Day march planned for this morning but celebrations went ahead nonetheless amid a heavy police presence at a government-approved location four kilometres from the city centre. Security forces wearing crash helmets outnumbered participants and cordoned off the square.

Several hundred garment workers, farmers, teachers, trade unionists, community representatives and youths attended the event organised by trade unions and associations at the so-called “new” Freedom Park in Russey Keo district. The municipality threatened legal action if the organisers went ahead with a march affecting “security and public order”, despite the fact that 10 December is an annual public holiday with far less traffic in the city.

Despite recent government declarations about the lifting of restrictions on civil society groups, authorities continued to restrict the movements of communities across the country, preventing them from gathering in public, demanding letters of permission and dictating where they could meet.

Article
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence: Sor Sorn

December 7, 2018audio available

To mark the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) LICADHO is highlighting women land campaigners and human rights defenders (HRDs) who face state violence in Cambodia.

At least a half a million Cambodians have lost their land and homes in forced evictions over the last two decades and women have been at the forefront of peaceful protests demanding justice and fair compensation. Their activism has often been met with violent attacks by security forces as well as judicial harassment and arbitrary detention.
Over the 16 days, we are publishing profiles of women who – despite many hardships – continue to speak out in solidarity with others to demand justice.

Sor Sorn (58) has faced repeated harassment, arrests and detentions for protesting against the violent forced eviction of Borei Keila community in Phnom Penh.

Article
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence: Um Sophy

December 5, 2018audio available

To mark the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) LICADHO is highlighting women land campaigners and human rights defenders who face state violence in Cambodia.

At least a half a million Cambodians have lost their land and homes in forced evictions over the last two decades and women have been at the forefront of peaceful protests demanding justice and fair compensation. Their activism has often been met with violent attacks by security forces as well as judicial harassment and arbitrary detention.

Over the 16 days, we are publishing profiles of women who – despite many hardships – continue to speak out in solidarity with others to demand justice.

Um Sophy (39) has faced serious harassment, multiple criminal cases and even lost her job as a teacher as a result of her tireless activism to defend her community’s land against a politically connected company.

Article
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence: Phav Nherng

November 29, 2018audio available

To mark the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) LICADHO is highlighting women land campaigners and human rights defenders who face state violence in Cambodia.

At least a half a million Cambodians have lost their land and homes in forced evictions over the last two decades and women have been at the forefront of peaceful protests demanding justice and fair compensation. Their activism has often been met with violent attacks by security forces as well as judicial harassment and arbitrary detention.

Over the 16 days, we are publishing profiles of women who – despite many hardships – continue to speak out in solidarity with others to demand justice.

Phav Nherng (39) has been at the forefront of a decade-long struggle to secure land for hundreds of farmers in Koh Kong province, braving harassment, threats, and detention because of her activism on behalf of her community.

Article
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence: Tep Vanny

November 26, 2018audio available

To mark the international campaign 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (25 November – 10 December) LICADHO is highlighting women land campaigners and human rights defenders (HRDs) who face state violence in Cambodia.

At least a half a million Cambodians have lost their land and homes in forced evictions over the last two decades and women have been at the forefront of peaceful protests demanding justice and fair compensation. Their activism has often been met with violent attacks by security forces as well as judicial harassment and arbitrary detention.

Over the 16 days, we will publish short profiles of women who – despite many hardships – continue to speak out in solidarity with others to demand justice.

We start with Tep Vanny (38), who has been at the forefront of Boeung Kak Lake community’s fight against forced evictions in Phnom Penh as well as being a fervent defender of human rights.

Statement
Time for Bail: Ending Needless Mass Detention in Cambodia

November 1, 2018

Cambodia’s prison population has risen to unprecedented levels and acute overcrowding has become a major problem, affecting not only inmates but prison staff and society as a whole. Record numbers of women with children under three years of age were behind bars during the last year. Correctional Center 1, the main men’s prison in Phnom Penh, houses more than three times the number of inmates it was built to accommodate.

In a new report, LICADHO examines the role Cambodia’s courts play in contributing to this crisis and highlights how the criminal justice system could be improved by small and feasible changes.

Despite laws designed to limit pre-trial detention and respect the principle of presumption of innocence, people accused of a crime, even petty offences, are rarely offered bail according to LICADHO’s research. In the 18 prisons that LICADHO monitors nationwide (out of a total of 28) more than a third of prisoners are pre-trial detainees: 9,527 out of 25,926. In some prisons about half the inmates have yet to face trial.

A person accused of a crime can be held without trial for up to 22 months.

Photo Album
Communities Celebrate World Habitat Day 2018

October 5, 2018

Communities around the country celebrated World Habitat Day between 28 September and 5 October 2018. This year's theme was “municipal solid waste management” and many organised garbage clean ups as well as discussions on housing and land rights. More than 2,000 people participated in at least 30 communities. Authorities shut down some events, claiming they were illegal, and others were cancelled or held indoors due to threats and intimidation.

Article
Authorities Stop Communities Collecting Garbage and Discussing Land Rights

October 1, 2018audio available

At least two communities have been prevented from celebrating the United Nations’ World Habitat Day by Cambodian authorities and others have cancelled events out of fear of reprisals.

More than 2,000 people in at least 30 communities nationwide have planned events to raise awareness of this year’s theme – “municipal solid waste management” – as well as the annual theme: the right to housing. Activities are taking place between 28 September and 5 October 2018, many of them in communities affected by land grabbing and forced evictions or threatened by new developments.

According to the UN, World Habitat Day (WHD) is an opportunity to “reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter”.

Statement
Civil society groups condemn the wrongful conviction of four ADHOC staff members and an NEC official

September 26, 2018audio available

We, the undersigned communities and civil society groups, condemn today’s conviction of four human rights defenders from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and a National Election Committee (NEC) official, in relation to a former opposition leader’s alleged affair. On 26 September 2018, senior ADHOC staff members – Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda, Lim Mony and Yi Soksan – were convicted of “bribery of a witness” under Article 548 of the Criminal Code. NEC official and former ADHOC staff member Ny Chakrya was found guilty as an accomplice under Articles 29 and 548 of the Criminal Code. They have been sentenced to five years of imprisonment by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, with their pre-trial detention period of 427 days considered time-served and the remainder suspended.

Article
ADHOC and NEC Staff Handed Suspended Sentences For Bribery Convictions

September 26, 2018audio available

Four staffers from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and a National Election Committee (NEC) official were convicted today at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on bribery charges linked to a case against former opposition leader Kem Sokha.

The four ADHOC staffers – Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Nay Vanda – and NEC official Ny Chakrya, were handed five year suspended sentences by a panel of three judges. The time already served by the five during their pre-trial detention was included in the sentencing and the remaining time was suspended, meaning they will not return to prison.

Article
Free Tep Vanny: Two Years Too Long

August 14, 2018audio available

Prominent land right activist Tep Vanny has been at the forefront of her community’s fight against forced evictions and rights violations in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Kak Lake neighbourhood. Her dogged determination has made her a powerful advocate for justice, not only for the upheaval faced by her own community but for all Cambodians.

Cambodian authorities shut down Vanny’s activism two years ago and have kept her behind bars since then on a series of trumped-up charges and convictions in trials devoid of any credible evidence. She is serving a two-and-a-half-year sentence at Phnom Penh’s infamous Prey Sar prison, also known as Correctional Center 2 (CC2).

Statement
Civil society groups call for the release of Tep Vanny

August 14, 2018audio available

Land activist and human rights defender Tep Vanny has been unjustly detained for two years as of tomorrow, for defending the rights of the Boeung Kak Lake community and her fellow Cambodians. We, the undersigned communities and civil society organisations, condemn her ongoing imprisonment and call on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Tep Vanny, drop all dormant criminal charges and overturn any convictions against her, so that she may return to her family and community. Tep Vanny has fought tirelessly to protect the rights of members of her community following their forced eviction from their homes on Boeung Kak Lake, Phnom Penh, but also those of fellow human rights defenders campaigning for separate causes. As long as she is behind bars, Tep Vanny is prevented from carrying out her peaceful and valuable work.

Statement
Civil Society Rejects Government Attack on Freedom of Expression

June 8, 2018audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, express grave concern regarding the latest government decision to heighten state surveillance, censorship and criminalisation of online expression in Cambodia, in contravention of constitutional and international human rights guarantees. On 28 May 2018, the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Information and Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications issued an inter-ministerial prakas on website and social media control which became public this week. This ministerial order threatens the privacy rights and freedom of expression of every single internet and social media user in Cambodia and further diminishes the limited space left for public debate following months of attacks on media freedoms.

Article
LICADHO Clarifies Hacking Attack Report

May 17, 2018audio available

Last week, LICADHO staff discovered a strange phenomenon when trying to access the Phnom Penh Post website. When going to the site, a malicious code impersonating Google (misspelled Gooogle) attempted to trick users into granting full access to their Gmail inboxes to an unknown third party called GTransfers.

LICADHO analysed the code which was hidden within a legitimate script file (theme.js) hosted on the Phnom Penh Post website and forwarded its findings to partners in the region. The tampering with the website was independently confirmed by cyber security experts - including industry leader FireEye - in an ABC article.

Statement
Cambodian Civil Society Groups Condemn Ongoing Attacks on Freedom of the Media

May 9, 2018audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn the latest blow to press freedom in Cambodia, with the opaque sale of The Phnom Penh Post, and the new owner’s immediate interference in the paper’s editorial independence, which compelled 13 senior staff and reporters to resign and led to the sacking of the paper’s Editor-in-Chief. This is just the latest in a series of attacks which have devastated Cambodia’s media landscape since mid-2017. The Phnom Penh Post was Cambodia’s last remaining independent English-Khmer language daily, and its change of ownership raises serious questions about the paper’s continued independence.

Photo Album
Workers Celebrate International Labour Day Despite Restrictions

May 2, 2018

Close to a thousand workers and trades unionists celebrated International Labour Day around Cambodia on 1 May 2018 despite restrictions on public gatherings and a ban on the traditionally held march in the capital. A large area around the National Assembly was cordoned by mixed police forces and the rally in the capital was closely monitored. Other events in Cambodian provinces were also low key and closely watched by authorities.

<< Previous Page - Next Page >>