Latest Flash News & Articles

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, 2015audio available

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.

Read the full article...

Flash News: Siem Reap communities come together to seek solution to land disputes
Published on May 22, 2015

This morning, around 700 members of communities affected by land disputes gathered in Siem Reap town to march and submit a petition to the provincial governor. Around 100 police and military police prevented the group from marching, citing the possibility of traffic disruption and also stating that the governor was not in the office. This afternoon 17 community representatives were allowed to meet with the governor whilst the other community members waited outside.

The petition listed ten land cases from seven districts within the province and gave details of the number of affected families and the location of the disputed land. It also named the parties with whom the communities are in dispute, including the Apsara Authority, private companies and members of the military.

Flash News: Peaceful Workers’ Day rallies take place in Phnom Penh
Published on May 1, 2015

This morning, in celebration of International Workers’ Day, marches and rallies were held at three sites around Phnom Penh. One group of around 500, representing amongst others, garment workers, farmers, and informal sector workers marched and rode in tuk-tuks from the Olympic Stadium to the Ministry of Labour where they delivered a statement calling for greater respect for workers’ rights. As they marched, they carried posters calling for draft legislation on unions and NGOs and associations to be dropped. The group was joined by some of the Boeung Kak activists recently released from prison. The march took place despite Phnom Penh city hall denying permission.

Another group of around 1,000 workers gathered at the National Assembly. The group listened to speeches and made several demands including for an increase in the minimum wage to $177. At Freedom Park another group of over 500 workers held a rally and listened to speeches on worker conditions, the minimum wage and freedom of expression.

Flash News: Last of the "Free the 19" detainees, Ly Seav Minh, granted bail by Supreme Court
Published on April 24, 2015

Ly Seav Minh was released on bail this morning following a decision by the Supreme Court. She spent more than five months in pre-trial detention at Prey Sar’s CC2 prison after she was arrested on November 18, 2014. She is charged with violence against the possessor of immoveable property and a potential two years in prison and $6,250 in fines.

She and her family are involved in a long-running land dispute with the municipality and well-connected tycoon Khun Sear, to which the municipality sold their land in 2010.

Ly Seav Minh is the last of the Free the 19 activists to be released from Prey Sar’s CC1 and CC2 prisons.

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Flash News: Five CNRP and three defrocked monks released following political negotiations
Published on April 13, 2015

This afternoon, eight more of the Free the 19 activists were released from detention in Prey Sar’s CC1 prison.

Three defrocked monks – Venerable Seung Hai, Venerable Khith Vannak, and Venerable Sang Kosal – and five CNRP members and supporters – Meach Sovannara, Sum Puthy, Tep Narin, Ke Khim, and Ouk Pich Samnang – were released on bail. All eight were arrested between September and November last year and face a variety of charges. The cases against all those released remain open.

The five CNRP members and supporters will be required to post bail by April 20. Meach Sovannara bail was set at 10 million riel while Sum Puthy, Tep Narin, Ke Khim, and Ouk Pich Samnang have been requested to post 3 million riel each.

Today’s bail decisions follow the release on Saturday of 10 Boeung Kak land rights activists who were granted a royal pardon having spent five months in prison for the offence of obstructing public traffic.

All 18 releases result from the latest round of political negotiations between leaders of the ruling CPP and opposition CNRP.

The last of the Free the 19 activists, Ly Seav Minh, remains in pre-trial detention facing charges of violence against the possessor of immoveable property and a potential two years in prison and $6,250 in fines. She and her family are involved in a long-running land dispute with the well-connected tycoon Khun Sear.

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Flash News: 10 Boeung Kak Lake activists freed following royal pardon, more releases expected
Published on April 11, 2015

Shortly before 4 pm, 10 Boeung Kak Lake activists who were imprisoned in November 2014 were freed following a royal pardon from King Sihamoni. The release was part of the latest political deal between the ruling and opposition party leaders on Thursday.

Additional releases of opposition activists and monks are expected this coming Monday, April 13, 2015.

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Flash News: Trial of 11 CNRP to continue on April 20
Published on March 27, 2015

The trial of 11 members, officials, and supporters of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has concluded for the day.

The court denied another bail request for both Ouch Pich Samnang and Tep Narin, while concluding testimony of Ouern Narith and beginning testimony of Khin Chamreun. All defendants will reappear before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court at 8 am on April 20.

CNRP national election candidate for Banteay Meanchey and online radio owner, Meach Sovannara, Official of Public Affairs Department, Ouern Narith, and Chief of Phnom Penh Youths, Khin Chamreun, have all been charged with participating in and leading an insurrectionary movement (Criminal Code articles 456, 457, and 459). CNRP Chbar Ampov council member Sum Puthy, Chbar Ampov district youth leader, Neang Sokhun, Tuol Kork district youth leader San Kimheng, youth members Tep Narin, San Seihak, and An Batham, along with CNRP supporters, Ouk Pich Samnang and Ke Khim, have all been charged with participating in an insurrectionary movement (Criminal Code articles 456 and 457).

Representatives from the United Nations and European Union were present throughout the trial.

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Flash News: Free The 19-land activist, Ly Seav Minh, denied bail
Published on March 19, 2015

The Phnom Penh Municipal Court today denied a bail request for 'Free the 19' activist, Ly Seav Minh. Whilst today was originally scheduled for a trial, the judge agreed to hear a request for bail. After listening for about 20 minutes to arguments raised by the defense lawyers, the prosecutor and Ly Seav Minh herself, the judge denied bail after 5 minutes’ deliberation and without providing any reasons.

Ly Seav Minh was arrested on November 18, 2014 and has been imprisoned under pre-trial detention ever since. She is charged with the offence of violence against the possessor of immoveable property (Land Law article 253) following a complaint filed by the Khun Sea Company, a well-connected company that has long sought to oust Ly Seav Minh and her family from their property. The complaint relates to events on April 29, 2013 but was only filed at court on September 5, 2014.

After leaving the courtroom today Ly Seav Minh said, "Today I feel very disappointed about court decision because I didn’t get justice. But because I have all the support from community and NGO I feel strong and can continue to struggle for justice." Her trial was re-scheduled for 2pm on March 25, 2014. No reason was given for the postponement.

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