Black Monday Campaign
The material below relates to the Black Monday campaign, which was launched in May 2016 by civil society groups to call for the release of the latest wave of human rights defenders jailed on politically-motivated charges.Statement The Dangers of Dissent: Attacks on Cambodia’s Human Rights Defenders
July 3, 2017
As Cambodia’s human rights situation continues to backslide, exposing and speaking out against state-perpetrated abuses is ever more crucial. In the last two years, however, human rights defenders and other critical or independent voices have been among the main victims of Cambodia’s fractious political situation.
In this latest in a series of briefing papers, LICADHO sets out threats facing those who stand up for human rights in today’s Cambodia. Long-standing tactics used to silence human rights defenders – judicial harassment by a politicized court system; state-sponsored violence; and intolerance of peaceful protest – have been reinforced by new incapacitating laws and targeted digital surveillance. Although the examples presented in this paper are by no means exhaustive, taken together they provide a snapshot into the kinds of abuses that human rights defenders have been routinely subjected to in Cambodia over the last two years.
May 9, 2017
We, the undersigned Cambodian and international civil society organizations, condemn the removal by district and commune police authorities of banners calling for the release of six human rights defenders. Banners were removed from the offices of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) and Mother Nature in Koh Kong’s Smach Meanchey commune on 2 May 2017, as well as from three residences in Koh Kong province’s Srae Ambel district on 3 May 2017.
March 27, 2017 Sor Sorn and Nat Sreynak, both from Borei Keila community, were arrested this morning as they prepared for a Black Monday campaign gathering in front of their houses. Both were detained in 7 Makara police station until 7:15PM after nearly 11 hours in detention.
The two women, who were both wearing black t-shirts, were singled out and arrested by police and para-police at Borei Keila community at about 8.45 as they prepared for a gathering to call for the release of incarcerated human rights defenders, including Boeung Kak Lake community representative Tep Vanny who was arrested during another Black Monday event on 15 August 2016. Since the campaign began in May last year, there have been at least 38 arbitrary arrests of Black Monday participants, who have mostly been detained for hours before being released without charge. Today marked Sor Sorn's fifth arrest, and Nat Sreynak's second arrest, for participating in a peaceful Black Monday gathering.
January 21, 2017
Two months after the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention’s (WGAD) ruled that the ongoing detention of ADHOC staff members Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Nay Vanda, and Yi Soksan, and NEC Deputy Secretary-General, Ny Chakrya is arbitrary, we, the undersigned civil society organizations, reiterate our call upon the Cambodian authorities to implement the decision of the WGAD and immediately release them. Nearly nine months after the five were first detained, Cambodia has taken no action to cease or remedy its unlawful treatment of the five, and remains in a continuing state of non-compliance with its binding legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Our organizations condemn in the strongest terms the failure of the Cambodian authorities to implement the recommendations of the WGAD.
September 22, 2016
We, the undersigned civil society organisations, condemn in the strongest terms today’s unjustified conviction of former Head of the Human Rights and Monitoring Section of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association ADHOC) and deputy secretary-general of the National Election Committee (NEC), Mr. Ny Chakrya, by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court. After a four and a half hour trial, Judge Khy Chhay deliberated for a mere 15 minutes before deciding to convict Mr. Ny Chakrya on charges of defamation, malicious denunciation, and publication of commentaries intended to unlawfully coerce judicial authorities, under Articles 305, 311 and 522 respectively of the Cambodian Criminal Code. Mr. Ny Chakrya was sentenced to six months in prison and given a fine of six million Riel (approximately $1,500).
August 18, 2016
We, the undersigned civil society groups, demand the immediate release of two Boeung Kak Lake activists – Ms. Tep Vanny and Ms. Bov Sophea – who were charged and sent to provisional detention in Prey Sar’s CC2 prison on 17 August 2016, in relation to their involvement in the “Black Monday” campaign. We also call on authorities to drop the spurious incitement charges against them, and allow for peaceful assemblies, such as those in support of the Black Monday campaign, as protected under Cambodian and international law.
May 10, 2016
Yesterday’s detention of eight human rights workers and activists was an egregious violation of the right to freedom of expression in Cambodia, civil society groups said today. The detentions, which followed the pre-trial detention of four other rights workers and an election official last week, highlight an alarming surge in the Cambodian government’s latest campaign of intimidation against civil society.