Judiciary & Rule of Law
February 8, 2016 Former Capitol Tours bus driver Nan Vanna and Cambodia Informal Worker Association (CIWA) official Ruos Siphay were sent to CC1 prison this afternoon after being charged with aggravated intentional violence, obstructing public officials and obstructing a public road. Union leaders Ath Thorn, Kong Athit, Sok Chun Oeung and Eang Kim Hong have also been charged with the same offences, although not yet detained.
Nan Vanna and Ruos Siphay were arrested on Saturday during a violent attack on former Capitol Tours bus drivers as they demonstrated with supporting union CIWA. Both men sustained injuries during their arrest by anti-demonstration police, who mostly stood by while members of Cambodia for Confederation Development Association (CCDA) inflicted a savage beating on the drivers and their supporters using hammers and sticks. No CCDA members who openly committed violence were arrested. None of the four union leaders charged were present during the violence.
About 70 supporters gathered outside Phnom Penh Municipal Court from this morning to call for the release of the two men. All six men – as well as unspecified ‘unidentified individuals’ – face between two and six years in prison after being charged under Articles 218 and 503 of the Criminal Code and Article 80 of the Traffic Law this afternoon.
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.
July 14, 2015
We, the undersigned civil society groups, condemn the Cambodian People’s Party’s unanimous approval yesterday of the repressive and unnecessary Law on Associations and Non-Government Organizations (LANGO) and call on the Senate to reject the law. The vote at yesterday’s extraordinary session of the National Assembly is a catastrophic development for civil society in Cambodia and is a major step in the government’s wider campaign to undermine democracy and restrict citizens’ rights and freedoms.
July 7, 2015
Amid mounting national and international criticism of the proposed Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO), the ruling party has expedited the schedule to pass LANGO into law by calling an extraordinary session of the National Assembly on Friday July 10th. Join LICADHO for live coverage of the main events in the last 72 hours before the vote.
July 4, 2015
The CPP, Cambodia’s ruling party, has announced its intention to hold an extraordinary session of the National Assembly on July 10th, during which members of parliament will vote on whether to pass the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO). For the past three months Cambodian civil society has been voicing its opposition to the law and between June 28 and 30, numerous grassroots groups, networks and NGOs conducted a spirited 3-day campaign to protest against the LANGO and also the draft Trade Union Law. Both laws have been widely criticised in Cambodia and abroad for the threat they represent to Cambodian civil society. This music video shows some of the campaign events at which activists and civil society members sang and danced to a classic Cambodian pop song “I Don’t Accept It”. The lyrics were specially rewritten by Cambodian youths and Boeung Kak activists to express their rejection of the laws and to assert their right to gather and express themselves freely.
July 2, 2015
From June 28-30, various sectors of Cambodian civil society conducted a spirited 3-day campaign to protest against two draft laws, the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law (TUL). On the third day, authorities used force to prevent hundreds of members of civil society from peacefully marching toward the National Assembly from four locations.
June 29, 2015
At 8 o’clock tomorrow morning, in protest against two draft laws, the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (LANGO) and the Trade Union Law (TUL), hundreds of marchers will make their way towards the National Assembly from four locations in Phnom Penh. Both laws have been widely criticised in Cambodia and abroad for the threat they represent to Cambodian civil society. LICADHO will be livestreaming events from each of the marches throughout the morning.
June 25, 2015
After much public discussion, and following your article, “CPP Lawmakers Press Ahead with NGO Law” (Cambodia Daily dated 24 June, 2015), LICADHO wishes to address a general misunderstanding of the draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO).
LANGO is not a simply an “NGO law” impacting a few hundred NGOs. The law’s mandatory registration provisions apply to any group of people who join together to pursue any common cause, no matter their purpose or level of organization. Given the political context in Cambodia, we view this as a concerted effort to stop grassroots and community based organizations in their tracks. No registration, no community based organizations, no voices.
June 17, 2015
The draft Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) obtained in June 2015 will establish mandatory registration for all domestic and international associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), criminalizing all activities by unregistered membership organizations. The requirement to register appears all encompassing and could be interpreted to apply to all organizations from grassroots groups and community based organisations up to major international organizations. Mandatory registration could have a particularly severe impact on the freedom of association of grassroots groups and community based organizations.
This memo is a specific breakdown of the key provisions within the approved draft law that have worsened since the December 2011 draft, and the potential impacts on groups operating in Cambodia.