Topic: Judiciary and Rule of LawStatement: On the International Day to End Impunity, LICADHO Publishes Data on 10 Fatal Shootings by the Cambodian Police and Military
Published on November 23, 2013; On November 12, 2013 a street vendor, Eng Sokhum, was killed and nine others wounded by police gunfire during a garment workers’ strike in Phnom Penh. On September 15, 2013 Mao Sok Chan was shot in the head and killed when trying to make his way home through a violent clash at a roadblock at the end of a day of post-election protest. As yet, neither incident has been properly investigated and no one has been held responsible. Investigations by LICADHO show that these recent tragedies were not exceptional and were in fact illustrative of a pervasive tendency to the unlawful use of excessive force, fueled by failure to investigate or punish.
Published on November 21, 2013; On November 23rd, 2013, the international community will mark the Third International Day to End Impunity. In Cambodia, impunity continues to be one of the greatest obstacles to strengthening the rule of law and allowing citizens of the country to receive Justice. We are inviting reporters, media workers and victims who have been denied justice as a result of impunity to express their solidarity by joining together where journalist Khim Sambo was killed in 2008 and call the government to provide Justice.
Published on September 25, 2013; We, the undersigned organisations, welcome the long overdue decision made by the Supreme Court this afternoon to free Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun and drop all charges against them .
Published on September 4, 2013; Today marks one year of detention since the arrest of Boeung Kak activist and prisoner of conscience Yorm Bopha. This video tells her story, from her strong stance in support of detained community members to her arrest and groundless conviction.
Published on August 19, 2013; 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.
Published on June 25, 2013; 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.
Published on June 10, 2013; Cambodia’s National Assembly – its key legislative organ – has been thrust into a Constitutional crisis less than two months before the country’s national elections. Last week, the National Assembly’s Permanent Committee, which is comprised entirely of ruling Cambodia People’s Party members, stripped all 29 opposition party members of their parliamentary status. Because this expulsion took place within 6 months of a national election, the seats left empty by the purged parliamentarians were effectively terminated and will remain so under until after the election.
Published on May 30, 2013; In 2010 and 2012, LICADHO reported on Cambodia’s widespread problem of in absentia appeals hearings. Due to Cambodia’s minimal inmate transportation system, hundreds – if not thousands – of prisoners were being systematically refused the right to attend their criminal appeals. Cambodian law requires the presence of the accused at appeal hearings.
After years of delays, prison authorities have finally begun transporting provincial prisoners to their appeals hearings in Phnom Penh, but the failure to offer return transport is threatening to undermine progress.
Published on May 22, 2013; This year's Mothers Day coincided with the 250th day of imprisonment Yorm Bopha, a key Boeung Kak lake representative. The video highlight some of her activism and call for her release.
Published on May 20, 2013; We write to you to demand justice for Cambodian garment workers Ms. Bun Chenda, Ms. Keo Nea and Ms. Nuth Sakhorn.
On 20 February 2012, an unidentified male approached a group of around 6,000 workers in Manhattan Special Economic Zone (MSEZ). They were protesting the poverty wages and exploitation that epitomize the Cambodian garment industry. That man shot three young women aged 18 to 23 for requesting a pay increase of 50 cents per day. During the shooting the police did not assist the victims. It was fellow workers who aided them onto motorbikes to be taken to the hospital. Police officers aided the shooter’s escape by running alongside him to a neighbouring factory.
We watched as one of those young women, Ms. Bun Chenda, 21, struggled for her life at Calmette Hospital whilst money was thrown at her to buy her silence.
Signed by 43 NGOs from around the world.
Published on May 1, 2013; On this International Labor Day, we, the undersigned civil society groups call upon all international garment brands sourcing from Cambodia to publicly denounce two recent baseless judicial decisions related to the garment sector. The first is the recent imprisonment of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun. The two men were scapegoated and wrongly convicted in the 2004 murder of labor leader Chea Vichea. The second is the government’s failure to appropriately prosecute Chhouk Bandith, a well-connected former town governor who shot and severely injured three female garment factory workers.
Published on April 23, 2013; There has been some recent confusion surrounding the criminal case against Boeung Kak community activist Yorm Bopha. The muddling of the facts causing this confusion has been no accident – it reflects an intentional campaign by the authorities, complete with plausible allegations of payments to counter-protestors and even a disturbing weighing-in by the Prime Minister himself. In reality the facts underlying Bopha’s unwarranted conviction are simple, and reveal beyond any doubt that the authorities have targeted her to create fear and self-censorship among the remaining active members of the beleaguered Boeung Kak community.
Published on March 14, 2013; 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.
Published on February 26, 2013; Today is Yorm Bopha’s 176th day in Correctional Center 2, a prison on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.
Bopha is a human rights defender from the Boeung Kak community who played an active role in the movement calling for the release of the Boeung Kak 13, a group of women who were imprisoned in May 2012 for defending their land rights. The 13 were released on June 27, but Bopha was arrested on Sept. 4, 2012, and accused of beating of a man in Boeung Kak. Though she maintains her innocence, Bopha was convicted on Dec. 26, 2012, and sentenced to three years in prison.
Since Bopha’s arrest, Boeung Kak residents and other supporters have staged approximately a dozen major protests calling for her release. This photo album documents some of these events.
Published on 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.