Expression & Assembly

Statement Cambodia’s Government and Donors Must Act Now to Prevent Escalation of Violence

September 25, 2013audio available

Gravely concerned at the Cambodian authorities’ repeated use of excessive force to prevent and suppress the people’s exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, the undersigned non-governmental organizations call on the Cambodian and foreign governments to take immediate action to prevent the human rights situation from deteriorating further.

Statement Indiscriminate Police Brutality and Death amid Mass Post-Election Protest Condemned by Civil Society

September 16, 2013audio available

We, the undersigned organizations, condemn in the strongest terms the indiscriminate police brutality last night that left one young person dead and several more injured when armed forces were given the green light to use live ammunition in a crowd of commuters, local residents and demonstrators. After a largely peaceful day of demonstrations marking the first day of a planned three-day protest by opposition party CNRP, tensions escalated late on Sunday night. Barbed wire barricades had cut off major arteries of the city throughout the day, resulting in traffic chaos at key locations in the capital.

Statement Respect the right to freedom of peaceful assembly

September 5, 2013audio available

As the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) prepares to hold a peaceful “meditative” assembly on 7 September 2013 to demand an independent investigation into what it alleges are irregularities, including fraud, around the national election of 28 July, the undersigned non-governmental organizations and civil society groups make the following statement.

Statement A Symbol of Peace Turned Inside Out: Two Students Entrapped

August 19, 2013audio available

The Cambodian Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) and Cambodian League for the Promotion & Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) call on the authorities to drop all charges against students Tut Chanpanha and Sok Dalis. We similarly call for charges against small shop owner Lim Lypaeung and Hiv Borin to be dropped.

Statement Keep Media Free: Unrestricted Access to Social Media

August 7, 2013audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, urge Metfone, an Internet service provider (ISP) registered and operating in Cambodia, to issue a full explanation of today’s temporary blocking of Facebook, as well as the ongoing unavailability of the Ki-Media website.

Earlier this morning, at about 9 AM, Metfone users began to report that they were denied access to Facebook. The outage lasted for more than three hours.

Document We All Need Voices and Choices: Dear Parliamentary Candidates

July 7, 2013

We, the staff and members of the civil society groups listed, and our partners, families and friends, who are registered voters throughout Cambodia, will only consider voting for members of parliament of all political parties that keep the media free at all times.

Statement We All Need Voices and Choices: Civil Society Urges Government to Keep Media Free

July 1, 2013audio available

We, the undersigned civil society organizations, welcome the government’s decision to rescind shocking measures issued last week to censor Cambodia’s local news media in the final weeks before the July 28 National Assembly elections, and condemn the decision ever to implement such measures. We remain deeply concerned about an order to ban foreign news reporting of election polling which will come into force five days before the vote.

We condemn this ban in the strongest possible terms and urge the government to remove all restrictions on the news media during this critical pre-election period. We also call for the government to guarantee that it will not repeat its attempts to censor the airwaves or any other media, including social media on the internet.

Statement Ex-Governor’s Slap on Wrist for Shooting a Stark Contrast to Harsh Penalties for Human Rights Defenders

June 25, 2013audio available

Cambodian Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) and Cambodian League for the Promotion & Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) welcome the conviction of former Bavet governor Chhouk Bandith for shooting three garment workers last year, but condemn the light sentence – one-and-a-half years in prison – for actions that amounted an attempted triple-homicide.

The sentence is little more than a slap on the wrist, and is emblematic of Cambodia’s pervasive culture of impunity for the well-connected elite.

Video Water Cannons Used against Peaceful Land Protesters in Cambodia's Capital

May 30, 2013audio available

This morning near Phnom Penh city hall, authorities called in three fire trucks, which used high-pressure water from their hoses to disperse peaceful protesters from the Boeung Kak, Borei Keila and airport communities. Firefighters also targeted some community members who came to rescue colleagues who had fallen down due to the impact of the water. This video was taken at the scene.

Photo Album International Labour Day 2013 in Cambodia

May 1, 2013

On May 1, 2013, between 6,000 and 7,000 garment workers, union leaders, local communities, motodops, students, NGOs and others gathered in Phnom Penh to mark International Labor Day. The group marched from Freedom Park to the National Assembly in Phnom Penh, calling for living wages, improved working conditions and for justice in the Born Samnang/Sok Sam Oeun and Chhouk Bandith cases. This album contains a selection of photos from the march.

Statement Appeal Court Orders Release of Mam Sonando, Kan Sovann and Touch Ream

March 14, 2013audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, welcome the Court of Appeal’s long-overdue decision today to release independent radio station owner Mam Sonando and his two co-appellants, Touch Ream and Kan Sovann, but caution that a long road remains to rehabilitate Cambodia’s democracy ahead of National Assembly elections in July.

Video Police and Security Guards Use Excessive Force to Disperse Peaceful Boeung Kak Protesters

March 13, 2013audio available

On the morning of March 13, 2013, a group of military police and police officers, accompanied by district security guards, stormed a peaceful protest by the Boeung Kak Lake community. In what turned out to be the most violent crackdown against this community, five citizens were left injured, including broken teeths and bones.

Statement Police Beat Boeung Kak Protesters, Leaving Five Injured

March 13, 2013audio available

Authorities’ escalated their ongoing crackdown on the Boeung Kak Lake community today, as police launched a brutal attack on demonstrators who had gathered in a public park outside the Prime Minister’s house.

Three people were detained and five were seriously injured, including Lous Sokorn, the husband of imprisoned Boeung Kak rights activist Yorm Bopha. The demonstrators were calling for the release of Bopha, who has been designated a Prisoner of Conscience by Amnesty International.

Report Human Rights 2012, The Year in Review

February 18, 2013

The human rights situation in Cambodia began 2012 teetering on the edge of a precipice, and by the end of the year had fallen off the cliff, according to a new report from LICADHO.

The past year was the most violent year ever documented in terms of the authorities using lethal force against activists, according to the report, “Human Rights 2012: The Year in Review.” The year also saw four deaths related to conflicts over natural resources, a growing atmosphere of fear and intimidation and the mass arrests of activists.

Article 2012 in Review: Use of Force Against Peaceful Protests

February 13, 2013audio available

As the frequency of land grabs has grown, so has the sense of desperation for Cambodians faced with eviction. The perpetrators of land grabs – from business leaders to police to hired hands who carry out actual evictions – operate with near complete impunity. Recourse to the notoriously corrupt judiciary is not an option. For the average Cambodian, the only avenue that offers the prospect of success is civil disobedience, namely public protest and individual action.

The government has become increasingly aggressive in attempting to shut down this avenue as well, despite the fact the vast majority of citizen protests documented by LICADHO during 2012 have been peaceful. Violence is often the government’s tactic of choice.

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