Latest Flash News & Articles

Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary – May 2010
Published on June 1, 2010

* Public Screening of "Who Killed Chea Vichea?" Documentary Banned * China Pledges Military Aid to Cambodia * Amnesty International Releases 2010 Human Rights Report * LICADHO Staff Member Arrested for Disinformation

Read the full article...

Article: We Are All Human Rights Defenders
Published on May 9, 2010

Sometimes the most effective defense of human rights begins with the simplest of questions. "Why can't I be here?" "What law did I break?" And sometimes, just: "Why?"

The latter was a question that the Venerable Luon Sovath began asking early in life. The 32-year-old grew up in Cambodia's Siem Reap province and came of age in the midst of Cambodia's vicious civil war. He witnessed horrific violence as the Khmer Rouge attempted to regain control of the country. Growing up, there was rarely a clear answer to the question "why?" The violence was usually senseless; the injustice seemed systematic.

So at age 15, Sovath took a different path: He became a monk. His choice allowed him to escape harm during Cambodia's decades-long war, and instilled the virtues of karma, reflection, and justice. Today, he is a human rights defender working amongst the villagers who are victims of land-grabbing dedicating his free time to producing videos documenting the human rights abuses he witnesses. This is his story.

Read the full article...

Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary – April 2010
Published on May 1, 2010

* US Suspends Delivery of Military Trucks to Cambodia * Jailed Journalist Receives Royal Pardon

Read the full article...

Article: Eviction and Land Grabbing Surges Across Cambodia
Published on April 2, 2010

The use of military police by government-affiliated companies and individuals to forcibly evict villagers featured prominently in land grabbing cases in first quarter of 2010, leaving over 2,500 families at risk of losing their homes or livelihood.

LICADHO received 23 complaints of land grabbing between January and March 2010, ten of which involved the violent eviction of individuals following the grant of economic land concessions by government ministers to relatives or elites, and their affiliated companies.

Read the full article...

Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary – March 2010
Published on April 1, 2010

* Report on Rape in Cambodia * Anti-Corruption Law Adopted * Royal Government of Cambodia Accepts Recommendation from UN Human Rights Council * Land Grabbing Protest Forces Release of Arrested Community Representatives

Read the full article...

Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary – February 2010
Published on March 1, 2010

* Human Rights Defenders Acquitted of Disinformation * Cambodian Government Formalizes Private Sector Patronage System of Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF)

Read the full article...

Article: Stateless Ethnic Minority Khmer Krom Face Difficult Future in Cambodia
Published on February 23, 2010

Since December 24, 2009, LICADHO has been assisting a group of 24 Khmer Krom people after they were deported from Thailand as illegal immigrants. The Khmer Krom are an indigenous ethnic minority living mostly in southern Vietnam and Cambodia in the Mekong Delta area.

The group, which includes seven women and nine children, travelled to Thailand from Vietnam in 2008 in order to seek asylum after they were threatened with imprisonment if they did not stop protesting the confiscation of their land by the government of Vietnam. The farmland in question is located in Svay Torng and Tin Bieng district, Maot Chhrouk Province. The group claim that the Vietnamese authorities deleted their names from a residential list, confiscated their farmland and issued arrest warrants.

Read the full article...

Article: Swiss Musicians Uplift Cambodian Prisoners
Published on February 5, 2010

In a touching act of compassion, ten musicians from Switzerland performed in prisons across Cambodia in January, providing a rare diversion and cause for joy among the prisoners. From January 17-30, 2010, the musicians went on a whirlwind tour, performing in 11 prisons throughout the country. The musicians are part of the organization Repris de Justesse which aims to bring music to prisons all over the world. Most of the musicians whom have other jobs and play locally in bars and clubs in Switzerland, paid for their own travel, food, and accommodations.

The objective of the tour was to provide some joy to prisoners who normally have little cause for celebration, and perhaps to alleviate some of the stress and depression that typically accompany prolonged confinement.

Read the full article...

Article: Cambodia Monthly News Summary – January 2010
Published on February 1, 2010

* Human Rights Watch Releases Report on Mistreatment in Cambodian Drug Detention Centers * Opposition Leader Convicted of Racial Incitement * UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Visits Cambodia

Read the full article...

Article: Acid Attacks in Cambodia Continue to go Unchecked
Published on January 29, 2010

Acid attacks have become an increasingly common form of violence in Cambodia in recent years. This particularly vicious method of attack is generally directed against women, often by their own husbands, or the wives of their lovers, with the most common motive being jealousy or revenge for perceived infidelities. There are, however, countless other motives for such attacks, with male and female perpetrators and victims. The attacks are almost always premeditated, as the perpetrators must take the time to acquire caustic acids. Unfortunately, these chemicals are typically inexpensive and readily available on the open market. Acid is very popular weapon given that it almost invisible to the police and the public.

Read the full article...

Article: Cambodian Men Trafficked into Thailand and Malaysia
Published on January 11, 2010

The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights ("LICADHO"), has long sought to assist trafficked Cambodian fishermen. The following is a composite story that illustrates some of the hardship and terror that many of those trafficked victims face every day. While the names of certain people and locations have been changed, all of the incidents reflected here did occur, and most of them could be considered typical.

Read the full article...

Article: 2009 International Human Rights Day Celebrated Across Cambodia
Published on December 22, 2009

December 10, 2009, marked the 61st anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. For the fifth year in a row, various NGOs and members of civil society throughout Cambodia celebrated December 10 International Human Rights Day by participating in activities and events in 71 separate locations across the country. This year, LICADHO used International Human Rights Day as a platform to focus on incarcerated human rights defenders in Cambodia's prisons. Eighty members of LICADHO staff visited prisoners in Phnom Penh, CC1, CC2, Kampot, Kompong Cham, Kompong Chhnang, Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap, Takeo, and Kompong Thom provinces.

Read the full article...

Article: Cambodian Teacher Convicted of Defamation in Land Dispute with School Principal
Published on December 8, 2009

The Prey Veng provincial court has found Neak Loeung Secondary School teacher Chin Rithy guilty of defaming the school's principal following a land dispute. The November 11, 2009, decision imposed a fine of 5 million riels (USD$1250) and ordered Chin Rithy to pay 5 million riel in compensation to the principal, Youen Sovuthy.

The defamation charge stemmed from a complaint filed by Chin Rithy to the Provincial Education Department on April 30, 2009, accusing Yoeun Sovuthy of selling school land to fellow teacher Pang Samet. Chin Rithy is director of the Prey Veng Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA), a group which also disputed the land sale.

The 3-hour trial was held on November 5, 2009, and was attended by 15 CITA members, including CITA president, Rong Chhun, and other NGOs supporting Chin Rithy.

Read the full article...

Article: Cambodian Villagers Sentenced to a Year in Prison in Long-Standing Land Dispute
Published on November 27, 2009

On October 27, 2009, the Siem Reap provincial court convicted Chan Norn and Chang Savoeun of assault and robbery, sentencing the two men to one year imprisonment each and ordering each to pay compensation of 3,000,000 riel (USD$750) to complainants Chey Sovann and Em Sothea. The complaint had stemmed from a long-standing land dispute which turned ugly on March 22, 2009, when police opened fire on a group of protesting villagers, resulting in four villagers being shot. The court acquitted seven other villagers who were facing the same charges.

The trial of the nine villagers, which had been held a week earlier on October 20, 2009, was heavily guarded. Initially 20 military police had been guarding the court; however, after over 120 villagers and supporters came to observe the trial, reinforcements were called in. Shortly after the hearing began at 8am, approximately 150 military police armed with guns, shields and electric batons arrived and surrounded the court compound, ensuring that none of the supporters were able to enter the court and observe the hearing. As the supporters waited outside the court, compound police harassed several villagers, accusing them of forming a demonstration to disturb the hearing and continually demanded that they leave.

Read the full article...

Article: Police and Military Burn and Bulldoze Houses During Land Eviction in Cambodia's Northwest
Published on November 19, 2009

On October 9, 2009, homes belonging to over 100 families from Bos village in Oddar Meanchey's Konkriel commune, were burned and bulldozed down by a contingent of approximately 150 police, military police, and hired demolition workers. The forced eviction was part of a long standing land dispute between the evicted residents and the Angkor Sugar Company. The Company is owned by Ly Yong Phat, a member of the ruling Cambodian People's Party and a State Senator who claims ownership over the disputed land.

Forestry Administration officials and RCAF troops from Battalion 42 set up roadblocks at the entrances to the village barring human rights workers and the media from entering the village to observe the eviction.

Read the full article...

Prison Population Watch
12,784 Occupancy Rate: →153%

Click here for the latest report on prison overcrowding
Monthly population figures as of May 31, 2014, from the 18 prisons monitored by LICADHO

The Great Cambodian Giveaway

Visualizing Land Concessions over Time