Judiciary & Rule of Law
July 28, 2016 This morning, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court heard a defamation case involving self-exiled leader of the CNRP Sam Rainsy, and National Assembly President, Samdach Heng Samrin.
The case revolved around a Facebook post made by Rainsy on November 17, 2015, in which he shared a video of the late King Sihanouk making comments about the actions of the 1980s Samdach Heng Samrin-led regime. The prosecutor, Vong Bun Visoth, and Samdach Heng Samrin’s lawyer, Ky Tech, both argued that the caption Rainsy had written to accompany the video was exaggerated, defamatory and misleading. Neither the defendant nor his lawyers were present for the trial.
After 10 minutes of deliberation, judge Ros Piseth returned with a lengthy written judgment, finding Rainsy guilty of defamation under article 305 of the Criminal Code. Rainsy was ordered to pay a 10 million riel (about $2,500) fine and 150 million riel (about $37,500) in compensation to Samdach Heng Samrin.
Rainsy has been living abroad since late last year, facing imprisonment if he returns, after a conviction previously believed to have been spent was reactivated following a complaint by the then-serving Foreign Minister Hor Namhong’s lawyer.
May 10, 2016
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.
May 2, 2016
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.
April 29, 2016
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.
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.
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.
February 23, 2016
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.
February 15, 2016
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.
January 25, 2016
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.
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’.
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.
December 9, 2015
This briefing paper documents a non-exhaustive list of attacks and threats against human rights defenders in 2013 and 2014, as well as three key trends that emerged over the two years: an escalation in state-sponsored violence, the prevalence of human rights defenders silenced by the criminal justice system, and finally, the resistance and resilience shown by Cambodian human rights defenders as they continued to, and intensified, their calls for a more just Cambodia.
December 4, 2015
Thousands of Cambodians in 16 provinces will gather to celebrate the 67th International Human Rights Day (IHRD), culminating in a joint celebration in Phnom Penh on December 10. From December 6 onward, grassroots groups such as communities affected by land conflicts, youth networks, associations, and monks as well as unions and NGOs across the country will hold a series of celebrations under an overall theme of ‘Justice’.
November 2, 2015
To mark the United Nations’ second International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, we, the undersigned civil society organizations (“CSOs”), call upon the Royal Government of Cambodia to bring an end to Cambodia’s rampant culture of impunity, and to ensure that the perpetrators of human rights violations are brought to justice.
July 21, 2015
This afternoon, 11 officials and supporters of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) were convicted of charges relating to insurrection and sentenced to between seven and 20 years imprisonment. They were taken to CC1 prison immediately following the sentencing.