Latest Flash News & Articles

Flash News: Supporters of arrested Mother Nature activists prevented from entering city
Published on August 19, 2015

Supporters of three arrested activists from Mother Nature have been blocked from entering Koh Kong city to protest their arrests.

The three activists – Try Sovikea, 23; Sun Mala, 23; and Sim Samnang, 28 – were arrested on August 17 amid an ongoing campaign to end alleged illegal sand dredging in Koh Kong. They have been charged under Article 424 of the Penal Code with threatening to cause destruction, defacement or damage and ordering others to do so, and are currently detained in Koh Kong prison. About 40 supporters, who were planning to gather outside Koh Kong provincial court to protest their arrests, have been blocked from entering the city by military police. Another 45 supporters, who managed to enter the city before the road block was in place, are protesting the arrests outside Koh Kong prison.

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Flash News: Opposition Senator sent to Prey Sar prison
Published on August 16, 2015

Sam Rainsy Party Senator Hong Sok Hour, who was arrested yesterday, has been sent to CC1 prison.

He has been charged with forgery of public documents (Article 629 of Cambodia’s Criminal Code), use of forged public documents (Article 630), and incitement to commit a crime (Articles 494 & 495). The Senator was accused of treason by Prime Minister Hun Sen in a speech on Thursday for allegedly publishing an altered version of a 1979 treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam on his Facebook page on Wednesday.

Flash News: Opposition Senator detained in Phnom Penh Commissariat
Published on August 15, 2015

Sam Rainsy Party Senator Hong Sok Hour, who was arrested early this morning, has been sent to the Phnom Penh Commissariat following an interview in Phnom Penh’s Municipal Court this afternoon.

The Senator was accused of treason by Prime Minister Hun Sen in a speech on Thursday for allegedly publishing an altered version of a 1979 treaty between Cambodia and Vietnam on his Facebook page. He was arrested by a group of armed police at 6am this morning from the house of CNRP MP Yon Tharo, and there was a large presence of armed police surrounding the court throughout his appearance. He will be detained in the Phnom Penh Commissariat overnight and interviewed further by a prosecutor tomorrow.

Flash News: LANGO passed by Constitutional Council
Published on August 12, 2015

Today, a full session of the Constitutional Council declared the draft Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) constitutional in both its content and the process of its drafting and approval.

The LANGO was passed by the National Assembly on July 13 and by the Senate on July 24 amid widespread national and international criticism. It is now due to go before the King for final approval.

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Flash News: Young people celebrate International Youth Day in Siem Reap
Published on August 12, 2015

This morning, about 200 youths aged 18-25 celebrated International Youth Day in Siem Reap with a bike ride, balloon release and public forum under the theme ‘Youth are important for development’.

About 200 more children joined the youths for the forum which also included traditional dancing, games and music. The question-and-answer session of the event revealed that the most common concerns among those present are poverty and economic opportunities, education and corruption in the education system, and youth engagement in such political, social and economic issues. Today's event was organised by about 10 youth groups from different districts and organisations across Siem Reap.

Flash News: Six more arrested outside for protesting LANGO in Phnom Penh
Published on July 26, 2015

Five men and one woman from youth groups based in Preah Vihear and Phnom Penh were arrested this morning after gathering in front of the National Assembly to protest the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO), which was approved by the Senate on Friday.

The six youths - Chum Hour and Chum Hout from Khmer Youth Empire group, Veoun Ratana, Moung Sony and Soun Veana from Khmer Student Intelligent League Association, and Meas Leakhena from the CNRP Chroy Chanvar women’s movement - were among about 45 people from three youth groups affiliated to NGOs Moha Norkor and Mother Nature protesting LANGO outside the National Assembly this morning, some wearing prisoners’ outfits in protest of the repressive law. They are currently detained in Chamkor Mon district police office in Phnom Penh, where land communities and monks’ networks have joined their youth groups protesting outside for their release. About 120 mixed riot police, traffic police and security guards are also present.

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Flash News: LANGO approved by Senate amid further protests
Published on July 24, 2015

The widely-criticized Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) was approved by the Senate at about 10 o’clock this morning as over 400 people from grassroots groups, unions, monks’ groups and other associations gathered outside to protest against it.

Amid widespread national and international criticism, including months of protests across the country against the law, attending ruling-party Senators voted to approve the LANGO which was passed by the National Assembly on 13 July. The 11 SRP Senators boycotted the vote.

Protesters had gathered outside the Senate in the early morning, singing, holding anti-LANGO banners, and distributing stickers as monks performed a Buddhist ceremony symbolizing rejection of the law. Protesters also submitted a petition from grassroots groups, unions and NGOs to the Japanese Embassy to take action over the law.

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Flash News: Provinces mobilise to protest LANGO as law goes to Senate
Published on July 22, 2015

Two days before the repressive Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) goes before the Senate, community and civil society groups across 13 provinces continue ongoing protests against the law.

Across the country, over a thousand people from community groups, monks’ networks, unions and NGOs released balloons with anti-LANGO messages, held community forums to discuss the impact of the law, distributed leaflets on the law, and in some areas marched through towns to provincial lawmakers’ officers. In Siem Reap, police blocked the road as marchers approached the hall and dispersed the protest.

The LANGO is a widely-condemned draft law that will give the government sweeping powers to restrict civil society. It was passed by the National Assembly on 13 July to national and international criticism, and is due before the Senate on July 24.

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Flash News: Hundreds of farmers converge to the capital to submit petitions on land disputes and corruption
Published on July 20, 2015

This afternoon, about 250 farmers from Svay Rieng, Sihanoukville and Takeo gathered at the National Assembly in Phnom Penh to submit petitions relating to land disputes in Sihanoukville and Svay Rieng.

One petition called for the National Assembly to conduct an investigation into ongoing land disputes in Svay Rieng, including alleged corruption by officials in the sale of farmers' land to companies which has prevented farmers from obtaining land titles. The second petition called on the National Assembly to address ongoing land issues in Sihanoukville. Some of the land conflicts date from 2011, and together have affected nearly 2,000 families across the two provinces. After the farmers submitted the petitions, members of National Assembly committees agreed to investigate the disputes.

Authorities blocked a group of about 200 people from Romeas Heak district in Svay Rieng from going to Phnom Penh to join the rally this morning.

Flash News: Five activists held after handing out anti-LANGO stickers
Published on July 18, 2015

Five women are currently being held in Phnom Penh’s 7 Makara police station after being arrested during a peaceful anti-LANGO (Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations) event this morning. The event began at 8.30 at Phnom Penh’s night market when around 50 people gathered to hand out “Say NO to LANGO” stickers and fliers in some of the city’s main shopping areas. Shortly after 10 o’clock, when the group had reached O Russei Market, security guards and police arrived to prevent the group going any further. They then arrested the five women, four land rights activists from Boeung Kak community and one from Borei Keila. Having been held at the O Russei 2 commune police station for around two hours, they were then escorted through the streets by police to their current location. They have been told that they must wait for the arrival of Phnom Penh city governor Pa Socheatvong.

Around ten other activists and NGO staff are waiting with them. They have now been in detention for over four hours.

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Flash News: Hundreds protest as National Assembly debates LANGO
Published on July 13, 2015

At 8 o’clock this morning over 500 monks, farmers, land rights activists, unionists, tuk-tuk drivers, youth, students, and NGO staff gathered at Wat Ounalum in Phnom Penh to protest the proposed draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) and the draft Trade Union Law. The group marched towards the National Assembly to join 200 NGO representatives who plan to hold a press conference there, but have been blocked several hundred meters away by police and security guards. The marchers are continuing their peaceful protest at the barricade.

The LANGO is a widely condemned draft law that will give the government sweeping powers to restrict civil society. It is being voted on at the National Assembly this morning.

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Flash News: Thousands of balloons released across Cambodia in protest against repressive draft laws
Published on June 29, 2015

This morning at 10 o’clock, over a hundred community groups, Cambodian NGOs and international NGOs, including Oxfam, Action Aid and Transparency International, held events around Phnom Penh and in 13 provincial towns to protest against the draft the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law. From offices and other locations they released balloons bearing the message "Say NO to Union, Association and NGO laws".

The LANGO has been widely condemned for its potential to repress NGOs, informal networks and community groups not favoured by the government. It is currently under review by three National Assembly commissions after which it is expected to pass to the National Assembly to be voted on.

The campaign to stop the laws will continue tomorrow morning with a march starting from four different locations around Phnom Penh and ending at the National Assembly.

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Flash News: Cambodian protests against repressive draft laws gain momentum
Published on June 28, 2015

At 9 o'clock this morning around 350 land activists from Phnom Penh and the provinces, unionists, local and international NGO staff, garment workers, tuk-tuk drivers, monks, farmers, youth, media, and representatives of LGBT groups gathered in front of Cambodia's National Assembly in Phnom Penh to protest against two draft laws: the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law.

Protesters carried lotus flowers and held banners and released balloons bearing the message "Say NO to Union, Association and NGO laws". They marched twice around the National Assembly, danced and played and sang a pop song with lyrics specially-written by Cambodian youths and Boeung Kak Lake activists rejecting the laws and asserting their right to gather and express themselves freely.

Before the event started, security guards seized and destroyed a thousand white ballons intended for release later in the morning.

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Flash News: Hundreds gather to protest repressive draft laws at Cambodia's National Assembly
Published on June 23, 2015

At 8:30 am today, hundreds of civil society members gathered peacefully in front of the National Assembly, before marching to call for the withdrawal of the draft Law on Associations & Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) and protest against the draft Trade Union Law (TUL). The protestors comprised around 250 youths, farmers, land-activists, NGOs, media, monks and citizens.

Protestors held banners saying “We will not vote for a party that passes LANGO” and “Say NO to Union, Association & NGO laws”, shouted anti-LANGO slogans, and sang songs. The National Assembly Permanent Standing Committee is expected to meet today to decide which National Assembly Commission will review LANGO.

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Article: World Day Against Child Labour: The Plight of Child Labourers in Cambodian Brick Factories
Published on June 12, 2015

To commemorate June 12 World Day Against Child Labour (WDACL) 2015, LICADHO is publishing personal testimonies of five children and one adult who work in Cambodian brick factories.

These testimonies provide a glimpse into brick factory child labour, which is considered to be one of the worst forms of child labour, and demonstrate the negative effects of brick factory child labour on children.

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