Topic

Judiciary & Rule of Law

Flash News
Amendments to Law on Political Parties passed in boycotted National Assembly session

February 20, 2017 Today, the ruling-party members of the National Assembly approved amendments to the Law on Political Parties in a session boycotted by the opposition.

A draft of the law that became publicly available earlier this month contained articles creating unprecedented powers for the Supreme Court to dissolve political parties and ban political leaders for five years, at the request of the Ministry of Interior, on vague and ill-defined grounds such as potential harm to “national unity”. The process has no hearing and explicitly forbids appeal.

The law would allow the Ministry of Interior to suspend political parties for a time period with no maximum duration. The law would also ban individuals with any conviction, spent or unspent, carrying a non-suspended custodial sentence from holding official roles within political parties.

The law, which still requires approval by the Senate, is designated “urgent” meaning it will be immediately implemented once it has been signed by the King.

Statement
CSOs Call for the Immediate Implementation of the Decision of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention

January 21, 2017audio available

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.

Audio Book
Break the Silence to End Impunity for Rape in the Cambodian Justice System

January 6, 2017audio available

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.

Statement
In Landmark Decision, UN Body Declares the Detention of Five Human Rights Defenders Arbitrary

December 18, 2016audio available

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.

Statement
Civil Society Condemns Upholding of Conviction of Human Rights Defender Ny Chakrya

December 15, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn in the strongest terms the upholding of the unjustified conviction of the former Head of the Human Rights and Monitoring Section of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and current Deputy Secretary-General of the National Election Committee (NEC), Mr. Ny Chakrya, in a verdict handed down by the Court of Appeal today.

Statement
Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories

December 2, 2016audio available

On the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, LICADHO publishes its report “Built on Slavery: Debt Bondage and Child Labour in Cambodia’s Brick Factories” which presents evidence of the widespread use of contemporary forms of slavery in Cambodia’s brick manufacturing industry. It finds that despite the existence of comprehensive and long-standing legislation criminalizing the use of debt bondage and prohibiting child labour, competent authorities are making no efforts to eradicate them and are in fact enabling their survival.

Briefing
Getting Away With It – 2016 Update

November 28, 2016audio available

A year ago, to mark the 2015 16 Days Against Gender Based Violence campaign, LICADHO published a report Getting Away With It: The Treatment of Rape in Cambodia’s Justice System. The report was based on cases investigated by LICADHO in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and found that there were grave and systemic flaws in how rape cases are prosecuted in Cambodia and as a result, a disturbingly low number of convictions. There were several reasons for this: the extensive use of financial compensation to settle cases, widespread corruption amongst the police and the judiciary, poor understanding and application of the law by judges, and the prevalence of discriminatory attitudes towards women.

Statement
Civil Society Condemns Conviction of Human Rights Defender Ny Chakrya

September 22, 2016audio available

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).

Statement
Legal Proceedings Against Equitable Cambodia Staff Members

August 22, 2016audio available

Equitable Cambodia (EC), Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), and Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL) are extremely disheartened by today’s verdict against Eang Vuthy, Chheang Phea and Phen Kimsong. From the outset, it has been our position that there was no legal basis for this case. This was made clear during the trial hearing, when the prosecutor informed the trial judge during his closing remarks that there was no evidence to support the charge of defamation.

Statement
Civil Society Calls for Immediate Release of Boeung Kak Lake Activists

August 18, 2016audio available

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.

Document Open Letter: Call on the Human Rights Council to Adopt a Resolution Addressing Cambodia's Gravely Deteriorating Human Rights Situation

August 18, 2016

We, the undersigned international, regional, and Cambodian non-governmental organizations, urge your delegation to support the adoption of a resolution addressing Cambodia's gravely deteriorating human rights situation at the 33rd session of the Human Rights Council.

This resolution should highlight and condemn the ongoing and systematic human rights violations in the country and impunity for their perpetrators; build on the concerns expressed by a number of States at the Council's 32nd session; and urge the Cambodian Government to urgently take corrective action to preserve the legacy of the Paris Peace Agreements, ahead of their 25th anniversary and of key municipal and general elections.

Statement
Civil Society Condemns Escalating Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders

May 10, 2016audio available

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.

Statement
Civil Society Condemns Charging of Human Rights Defenders

May 2, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned human rights and other civil society organisations, condemn in the strongest terms the politically-motivated charging of six human rights defenders from a Cambodian human rights group, the country’s National Election Committee (NEC) and the United Nation’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR). The targeting of these individuals, five of whom were sent to pre-trial detention today, is the latest escalation in a far-reaching government assault on civil society ahead of upcoming local and national elections, and is a clear reprisal for support provided by rights workers in a politically-sensitive case.

Statement
CSOs call upon authorities to immediately cease harassment of human rights defenders

April 29, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned civil society organisations, strongly condemn the summonsing and interrogation of civil society members for conducting vital and legitimate activities to protect human rights. This amounts to an outrageous misuse of the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) as a political tool to attack and intimidate civil society.

Statement
Cambodia: EU must demand an end to persecution of opposition during human rights dialogue

April 29, 2016

The European Union (EU) must use the upcoming human rights dialogue with Cambodia to demand that authorities stop the harassment, arbitrary arrest, and imprisonment of opposition MPs, members, and their supporters, FIDH and its member organizations, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), said today. This year’s EU-Cambodia human rights dialogue is scheduled to take place from 2 to 4 May in Phnom Penh.