Judiciary & Rule of Law
December 8, 2017 This morning the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of three Boeung Kak Lake activists – Tep Vanny, Kong Chantha and Bou Chhorvy – on charges of “insult [of a public official]” and “obstruction of a public official with aggravating circumstances”. Their six month sentences were also upheld.
No enforcement order was issued. This means their arrest and enforcement of the sentences can be ordered at any time at the discretion of the Phnom Penh municipal prosecutor.
Tep Vanny was immediately returned to Correctional Centre 2 (CC2) where she has been in detention since 15 August 2016. She is awaiting an appeal against a conviction and 30 month sentence in another protest-related case. Kong Chantha and Bou Chhorvy were not immediately detained.
The convictions – under Articles 502 and 504 of the Criminal Code – related to a 2011 land protest outside Phnom Penh city hall. Lawyers and witnesses for the plaintiff did not appear in court at the hearing on 24 November 2017. As in earlier court hearings on this case insufficient evidence was presented to meet the legal standards for proof.
December 2, 2017
To mark the global campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, running from November 25 to December 10, LICADHO is publishing a new report No Punishment, No Protection: Cambodia’s Response to Domestic Violence. It presents evidence of the failure of the Cambodian justice system to properly protect victims of domestic violence or to punish the perpetrators.
November 14, 2017
We, the undersigned Cambodian and international civil society organisations (CSOs), call for the immediate release of Hun Vannak and Doem Kundy, environmental activists affiliated with the recently deregistered NGO, Mother Nature Cambodia (MNC), who have been wrongfully detained for over two months on spurious charges. We are deeply concerned by the arbitrary nature of their arrest and pre-trial detention, which appears to be an attempt to stifle and punish their legitimate work as environmental human rights defenders.
August 15, 2017
Tep Vanny, one of Cambodia’s most prominent land activists and human rights defenders, will have spent one year in prison on 15 August for defending her community and exercising her human rights. We, the undersigned, condemn her arbitrary imprisonment. We call for her convictions to be overturned, for all ongoing politically motivated and unsubstantiated charges against her to be dropped, and for her immediate release from prison.
July 27, 2017
We, the undersigned, call on the Court of Appeal to overturn the unjust conviction of Ms. Tep Vanny on charges of intentional violence with aggravating circumstances based on her peaceful activism at a 2013 protest, for which she received a draconian sentence of two years and six months’ imprisonment on 23 February 2017. The Court of Appeal will hear Ms. Tep Vanny's appeal against conviction tomorrow. On 15 August 2017, Ms. Tep Vanny will have spent one year in detention; her imprisonment is a clear attempt to silence one of Cambodia’s most fearless and outspoken defenders of human rights ahead of the national elections in July 2018.
July 10, 2017
Ahead of the one-year anniversary of the killing of Kem Ley, we, the undersigned, reiterate our concerns regarding the apparent lack of progress in investigating this case, as well as the inadequate investigation and trial of Oeuth Ang, the only person yet convicted or charged in relation to Kem Ley’s death. In light of the inadequacy of the investigation, we urge the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) to establish an independent and impartial Commission of Inquiry, in line with international standards, to continue the investigation.
July 8, 2017
One year after the murder of Kem Ley, we, the undersigned civil society groups, believe that justice has not yet been served for the late political analyst and the family, friends and colleagues he left behind.
The well-known political analyst and anti-corruption campaigner was shot dead at point blank range on 10 July 2016 while drinking coffee in a Phnom Penh petrol station. There has been no transparency in the murder investigation, and there are still many unanswered questions in the case.
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 23, 2017
Three weeks after a four-hour trial hearing, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court today convicted Oeuth Ang – otherwise known as ‘Chuob Samlab’ – of the premeditated murder of prominent political analyst Dr. Kem Ley as well as illegal possession of a weapon under Articles 200 and 490 of Cambodia’s Criminal Code. Presiding judge Leang Samnat sentenced Oeuth Ang to life imprisonment.
Despite compelling evidence that Oeuth Ang was the gunman who shot and killed Dr. Kem Ley, the lack of transparency in the investigation of Dr. Kem Ley’s death, the brevity of the trial proceedings, and the failure to fully investigate motive, potential accomplices and the circumstances of Oeuth Ang's arrest, raise serious concerns about the adequacy of this criminal process. In light of the inadequacies in the investigation into Dr. Kem Ley’s death, as well as in the trial proceedings, we, the undersigned civil society organizations, call for the establishment of an independent Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances of his murder, in accordance with international best practices.
March 5, 2017
We, the undersigned international and Cambodian civil society organizations, strongly condemn the brazen attacks carried out against Cambodian human rights defenders over recent weeks, in what appears to be a deliberate strategy by the Cambodian authorities to punish and deter any expression of dissent ahead of the upcoming commune and national elections, scheduled for June 2017 and July 2018 respectively.
February 23, 2017
We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn today’s unjust conviction and sentencing of Tep Vanny and the latest outrageous violence perpetrated by para-police against her supporters outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court.
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.
January 6, 2017
This audio book contains the edited highlights of two radio shows exploring how the Cambodian justice system responds to cases of rape. The shows were originally broadcast during the 2016 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence Campaign. In the two clips, a young rape victim and the father of a rape victim describe their experiences of the Cambodian justice system and there is a discussion of the main findings of LICADHO’s most recent report on rape “Getting Away With It – 2016 Update” which reviews the outcomes of cases investigated by LICADHO in 2015.
December 18, 2016
FIDH, OMCT, CCHR, ADHOC and LICADHO welcome the recent Opinion adopted by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) that recognises the arbitrary nature of the detention of human rights defenders Ny Chakrya, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, and Lim Mony. Our organisations call upon the Cambodian authorities to implement the Opinion of the WGAD by releasing the five human rights defenders immediately and providing them appropriate compensation.