Latest Flash News & ArticlesFlash News: Security forces block peace marches for International Human Rights Day outside Phnom Penh
Published on December 9, 2014
This morning at Kros village, Samrong commune, Prek Phnov district, Phnom Penh, 150 police, military police, and security guards, have blocked 80 peace marchers along National Road 5 from entering the city.
About 30 security guards in Pou Senchey district are also gathering to block marchers entering Phnom Penh between Kombol commune and Kantouk commune, on National Road 4, while security forces have also been mobilizing to block National Roads 1, 2, and 6.
Marchers from all six national roads are planning to reach pagodas in Phnom Penh this afternoon to sleep overnight before marching to the National Assembly to submit petitions on International Human Rights Day.
Published on December 7, 2014
Earlier today, peace marchers along National Roads 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, continued making their way towards Phnom Penh to mark International Human Rights Day on December 10.
Marchers on National Road 2 yet again faced difficulties accessing a pagoda for an overnight stay. 130 marchers, including 22 monks, were refused entry at Wat Neng Kmao until around 7pm this evening after lengthy negotiations.
On National Road 3, 39 monks and around 20 marchers were refused entry by the chief monk at Wat Prasat Srakeo. After no success in negotiating with the chief monk, the peace marchers continued to Wat Arng Montrey Mey to receive the same message as the previous pagoda. The marchers eventually found an overnight stay at Wat Ang Rong in Takeo province.
Peace marches along all other roads continued as normal today with no serious incidents. On National Road 5, villagers in Kampong Chhnang province donated food and water to marching monks, while on National Road 1, villagers cooked food for marchers, who were visited by Cambodia National Rescue Party Member of Parliament Real Khemrin, and independent radio station owner, Mam Sonando.
Published on December 6, 2014
This morning, peace marches along National Roads 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 continued making their way to Phnom Penh for International Human Rights Day on December 10.
In Takeo, on National Road 2, marchers were allowed to proceed this morning after soldiers and police officers armed with AK-47’s, had previously blocked the march from proceeding under orders of Takeo Provincial Governor Lay Vannak. Many marchers were left with no option but to sleep out in the open for the night.
On National Road 6, 200 marchers and 30 monks from Ratanakiri and Kompong Cham were refused to entry to Wat Skun last night after the district monk for Cheung Prey blocked the gates. Marchers eventually found a place to stay on a plot of land with little shelter 5km down the road.
Additionally, on National Road 6 today, marchers were only able to rest for lunch at Wat Chan Moly after monks were urged by local residents to unlock the gates.
Peace marches along all other roads continued as normal today with no serious incidents.
Published on December 5, 2014
Over a hundred monks and civilians are being blocked on National Road 2 in Takeo by a group of armed soldiers and police officers on the order of Takeo Provincial Governor Lay Vannak. Authorities have asserted that the group will not be allowed to go ahead with the peace march unless they obtain permission from the Interior Ministry.
Interference began yesterday when authorities locked the gates into Wat Saom, located in Takeo’s Kirivong district. As a result, monks and citizens were left with nowhere sheltered to sleep, having to settle on the land of nearby villagers.
Elsewhere in the country groups have begun the nationwide peace march for International Human Rights Day towards Phnom Penh on National Roads 1,3,4,5,6 and 7.
Published on December 4, 2014
This morning in Ochum district, Ratanakiri province, over 250 human rights activists, led by monks, launched this year’s nationwide peace march for International Human Rights Day (IHRD) 2014.
Activists and monks gathered in Ochum district at around 7am and are making their way to the provincial capital, Banlung. The march comes after a night of traditional dancing was performed by indigenous communities who also shared stories about land disputes, and other human rights issues, affecting their families.
Currently marchers are resting at Yeak Loum Lake where Venerable Loun Sovath is addressing the crowd as part of a public forum on IHRD.
Local NGOs and residents in Ratanakiri have said it's the biggest march to have taken place in the province in recent memory.
Additionally, IHRD organisers and monks left LICADHO’s office in Phnom Penh this morning to join communities across Cambodia, as peace marches along all six national roads will commence tomorrow morning.
Published on November 28, 2014
At around 8.30am this morning, one volunteer from local NGO Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT) and one tuk tuk driver were arrested near the National Assembly before being detained for part of the morning by Chamkarmon district authorities at Wat Toul Tompong. The STT volunteer and tuk tuk driver had been attending a demonstration with over 250 land activists and monks who were calling for the release of recently arrested activists and monks, currently detained at Prey Sar’s CC1 and CC2 prisons. Authorities also confiscated one loudspeaker.
The land activists – from Boeung Kak lake, Borei Keila, Preah Vihear, and Lor Peang – and monks, had gathered in front of the Buddhist Institute before marching towards the National Assembly to submit the petition.
The peaceful protestors were met by over 100 security forces who threatened violence as they blocked off access to the National Assembly while Prime Minister Hun Sen was in attendance.
Following the dispersal by security forces, 100 protestors marched to the Ministry of Justice to submit the same petition.
Published on November 23, 2014
This morning, over 300 people gathered outside Prey Sar prison to protest against recent politically motivated arrests for the second consecutive Sunday in a row.
Civil society organisations, monks, and communities protested outside CC1 and CC2 prisons at Prey Sar while US politician and elected representative for the state of Massachusetts, Morm Rady, addressed the crowd with relatives of those imprisoned.
Following the protests at the prison, the crowd moved to Phnom Penh Municipal Court for further demonstrations.
Published on November 18, 2014
This morning some 150 community members and monks gathered in front of the Embassy of the United States in support of Venerable Luon Sovath, while demanding the release of more than a dozen activists and monks who were arrested and imprisoned last week.
Venerable Sovath is submitting letters of invitation to 13 embassies, calling on dignitaries to witness his trial on November 25 at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. He is being tried on alleged charges of incitement.
Additionally, community members and monks are submitting petitions at the same embassies to request the release of more than a dozen activists and monks who are being detained at CC1 and CC2 in Prey Sar Prison. Venerable Sovath and the 150 community members and monks, will march to a total of 13 embassies including Britain, Singapore, Russia, Thailand, China, Australia, Republic of Korea, the European Union, and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Published on November 16, 2014
This morning around 200 monks, NGO representatives and land activists from Borei Keila, Boeung Kak, Thmor Kol and Lor Peang communities gathered outside Prey Sar CC1 and CC2 prisons to call for the release of 17 imprisoned activists. Demonstrators, including relatives of the land activists held speeches and released balloons before marching near the prisons.
Last week ten land activists, three newly-defrocked monks and two CNRP members were arrested and sent to prison for exercising their right to peacefully protest. Eleven of them have already been swiftly tried, convicted and sentenced to one year in prison. Two other CNRP members have been in prison since last month.
Published on November 14, 2014
This morning approximately 200 people including monks, community representatives, media and NGO staff gathered in front of the National Assembly to call for the release of activists recently arrested.
Earlier in the day protestors in two tuk tuks were temporarily prevented from reaching the site of the gathering.
Since Monday, 15 people including three newly-defrocked monks and two CNRP members have been arrested and sent to prison for exercising their right to peacefully protest.
Eleven of them have already been swiftly tried, convicted and sentenced to one year in prison.
Published on November 13, 2014
Earlier this morning, CNRP youth member Tep Narin was arrested by local authorities after failing to report at a local Phnom Penh police station. Narin was required to present himself before police once every two weeks while under judicial supervision.
Narin has been accused by case prosecutor Keo Socheat of taking part in the violence that occurred at Freedom Park on July 15, 2014.
He is currently being detained at the Phnom Penh police station.
Narin is the second CNRP member to be arrested in the last two days following the arrest and detention of CNRP candidate Meach Sovannara of Banteay Meanchey on Tuesday, November 11, 2014. In total, 15 CNRP officials and activists have now been arrested over the violence that occurred at Freedom Park on July 15.
Published on November 12, 2014
This evening, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced a further three land activists and a newly-defrocked monk to one year in prison and a fine of US $500 after convicting them of the offence of obstructing a public official with aggravating circumstances (Article 504 of the Criminal Code).
The four were arrested yesterday while taking part in a peaceful gathering in front of the court to call for the release of seven detained Boeung Kak Lake activists. The seven women had been detained on Monday and were also convicted and sentenced to one year in prison, for the offence of obstructing traffic, in a little over 24 hours.
Published on November 12, 2014
The trial of three land activists and one monk (defrocked following his arrest) is now underway. All four were arrested yesterday morning as supporters gathered outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court to protest the arrest of seven Boeung Kak Lake (BKL) activists. Some 100 riot police and security guards violently broke up the peaceful protest in front of the court.
The three land activists – Heng Pich (BKL), Im Srey Touch (former BKL), Phoung Sopheap (Thmor Kol) – and monk, named Venerable Seung Hai, are currently being tried in a single court room for two separate cases at Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
The trial comes after two monks were arrested and detained earlier today as they made their way to support a land community from Preah Vihear.
Published on November 11, 2014
Seven representatives from Boeung Kak Lake community have been sentenced to one year in prison along with the payment of a 2 million Cambodian Riel fine per person, following their arrest yesterday outside city hall.
All seven activists were charged with obstructing public traffic (Article 78 of the traffic law) and are currently being transported to Prey Sar CC2 Prison.
The seven convicted are Nget Khun, Tep Vanny, Song Sreyleap, Kong Chantha, and Phan Chhunreth, who were all previously arrested and convicted in 2012 for peaceful activism. Two other community representatives, Po Chorvy and Nong Sreng were also convicted today.
Published on November 11, 2014
CNRP official Meach Sovannara has been detained at Prey Sar CC1 Prison this afternoon, following his arrest this morning in Phnom Penh in relation to the violence that occurred at Freedom Park on July 15 this year.
Investigating Judge Keo Mony has charged Sovannara under articles: 28 and 218 (instigating aggravated, intentional violence); 495 (inciting others to commit a felony); and 459 (leading an insurrectional movement) of the criminal code. Article 459 carries a potential sentence of 30 years' imprisonment.
In total, 14 CNRP officials and activists have been arrested over the violence at Freedom Park on July 15. Of those, three are currently in detention: Ouk Pich Samnang; CNRP Chbar Ampov elected district council member Sum Puthy; and CNRP official Meach Sovannara.