Judiciary & Rule of Law

Flash News
Opposition MP Convicted, Sentenced on Incitement Charges

October 10, 2016 This afternoon, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced opposition CNRP MP Um Sam An to two years and six months’ imprisonment with a four million riel ($1,000) fine after convicting him of incitement to commit a felony and incitement to commit discrimination under Articles 495 and 496 of the Cambodian Criminal Code.

During the trial hearing, Um Sam An and his lawyers made repeated complaints that the trial amounted to a violation of his constitutional rights to parliamentary immunity and freedom of expression before leaving the court in protest. Trial judge Heng Sokna completed the hearing in their absence.

The case relates to online expression and Facebook posts made by Um Sam An over one year ago in relation to the ongoing political dispute between the ruling party and the opposition over Cambodia’s border with Vietnam. The authorities interpreted the continued existence of the Facebook posts one year later as evidence of a “flagrant offence” – bypassing Um Sam An’s parliamentary immunity.

Related Material:

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Getting Away With It: The Treatment of Rape in Cambodia's Justice System

March 7, 2016

Tomorrow is International Women’s Day. To mark the event LICADHO is releasing a new audio book and summary audio clip titled Getting Away With It: The Treatment of Rape in Cambodia’s Justice System. Both the book and the summary present evidence of the immense failure of the Cambodian justice system to properly investigate and prosecute cases of rape involving women and children. They provide details of multiple systemic flaws – corruption, discriminatory attitudes towards women and girls, misinterpretation of the law, and lack of resources – which, together, mean that many perpetrators of rape receive only very lenient punishment or go completely unpunished.

Boycott of Capitol Tours Following Brutal Suppression of Trade Union Activity Grows as 50 Civil Society Groups Declare Support

February 23, 2016audio available

In response to the brutal attack on protesting workers on February 6, 2016, we, the undersigned trade unions, community representatives and civil society organizations (CSOs), declare our strong support for the ongoing boycott of Capitol Co. Ltd, also known as Capitol Tours, and call upon the general public to join the boycott in solidarity with the wrongfully dismissed Capitol employees, and the wider Cambodian trade union movement. Capitol Tours has relentlessly violated the labor rights and fundamental freedoms of its employees and we wish to unreservedly condemn the company’s actions.

CSOs Declare Support for Mother Nature and Condemn Crackdown Against the Organization

February 15, 2016audio available

In response to the latest unjust charges brought against three further members of the environmental NGO Mother Nature, we, the undersigned civil society organizations (CSOs), declare our support for Mother Nature, and condemn the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s crackdown on the organization and Cambodian civil society in general.

Joint Letter to US Secretary of State John F. Kerry

January 25, 2016audio available

We, the undersigned Cambodian civil society groups, urge US Secretary of State John F. Kerry to call on the Royal Government of Cambodia to commit to upholding human rights and democratic obligations as a condition of strong and prosperous relations with the United States of America. During the Secretary of State's visit to Phnom Penh ahead of the US-ASEAN special summit at Sunnylands we request him to consider the numerous actions of the Cambodian government that clash with the fundamental values of the United States of America and are harmful to the rights of Cambodian citizens and the economic growth of Cambodia.

Photo Album
Thousands Demand Justice for Human Rights Day Celebrations

December 17, 2015

To celebrate International Human Rights Day (IHRD), about 10,000 people from rural and urban communities participated in 20 marches and events across the country from December 6 to December 10. These were organized by the informal network Friends of December 10th, which includes youth, land communities, associations, farmers, monks, and NGOs. On December 10, groups peacefully marched from various locations in Phnom Penh toward the Ministry of Justice to demand that the government resolve Cambodia’s land conflict epidemic; reform the judicial system and release human rights defenders and activists; raise the minimum wage and respect labour rights; end state-sponsored violence; and respect freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly. This year’s IHRD theme was ‘Justice’.

Groups Across Cambodia Celebrate International Human Rights Day 2015

December 9, 2015

From December 6 to December 10, groups across Cambodia are celebrating the 67th anniversary of IHRD under the theme of ‘Justice’. Join us as we share events across the country and recap on events so far.