Judiciary & Rule of Law

Statement Charges Against ADHOC Staffer Mark Decade’s Most Serious Threat to Human Rights Work in Cambodia

August 15, 2012audio available

We, the undersigned civil society groups, deeply regret the Phnom Penh Municipal Court’s decision to pursue politically-motivated charges against outspoken human rights worker Chan Soveth for legitimate actions related to his work.

Briefing Paper Cambodia's Draft Law on the Management and Use of Agricultural Land

July 23, 2012

Late last year, the Cambodian government quietly released a draft Law on the Management and Use of Agricultural Land that would have serious implications for private landholders. The draft law as currently written could be used as legal cover for land-grabbing and for those who wish to exploit and personally profit from Cambodia's land and resources. Most alarmingly, the law creates felony criminal liability for any actions that violate the law's far reaching provisions. The following aspects of the draft law require immediate scrutiny and substantial revisions.

Flowers of Freedom: The Campaign to Free the 15

July 22, 2012audio available

This documentary takes a look at the recent campaign to free the 15 imprisoned Boeung Kak lake activists. The fifteen were arrested in late May 2012 during and after a peaceful protest highlighting a long-standing land dispute with Shukaku Inc. company, owned by a Cambodian ruling party senator.

One of the released activists presented this video at the fifth annual Summer Institute in International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights in Singapore in July 2012.

Release Mam Sonando, Owner of Cambodia's Oldest Independent Radio Station

July 16, 2012

The undersigned organizations are deeply disturbed by independent radio station director Mam Sonando's arrest on Sunday, July 15, 2012, and call for his immediate release. Mr. Sonando, who holds both Cambodian and French citizenship, is the owner of Beehive Radio, which is among the few independent radio stations in Cambodia. Sonando is also the founder and president of the Democrat Association.

Release of 13 Boueng Kak Representatives Tainted by Police Violence

June 27, 2012

We, the above organizations, welcome the release today of the 13 jailed Boeung Kak (BK) representatives but strongly condemn police violence against BK residents trying to reach the appeal court and regret that the convictions against the 13 were upheld despite the government's failure, again, to present any evidence of the alleged crimes.

Statement The Culture of Impunity and Violence Must Stop

May 30, 2012

We, Cambodian and International civil society organizations represented in this statement, condemn the use of armed force and escalating violence against citizens peacefully defending their land, labor and natural resources rights. We are referring to not only the events earlier last week on 22nd May, when dozens of peaceful Boeung Kak Lake (BKL) protesters were violently dispersed and two days later when fifteen (fourteen women and one male) BKL residents were sent to Prey Sar prison and charged and convicted of unfounded criminal offenses, but also the recent shooting incidents-the killings of environmental activist Chut Wutty in Koh Kong province and 14-year old girl Heng Chantha in Kratie province, and the shooting of three young women protesting for better working conditions in Svay Rieng province. These incidents are particularly disturbing because they indicate an increasing readiness on the part of security and military forces to use lethal force against civilians.

Statement Supreme Court Upholds Baseless Conviction of LICADHO Staff

May 25, 2012

The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) denounces this morning's decision by the Phnom Penh Supreme Court to uphold Leang Sokchouen's groundless conviction and two-year prison sentence.

NGOs Condemn Baseless Convictions and Violence Against Cambodian Human Rights Defenders

May 24, 2012

Shortly after a joint statement condemning the violent and arbitrary arrest of 13 women from the Boeung Kak community, Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF), Sahmakum Teang Tnaut (STT), Equitable Cambodia, Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO), Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Inclusive Development International (IDI), and Licadho Canada express their outrage at the baseless criminal convictions of the women and the utter travesty of justice that occurred today.

Briefing Paper
In Absentia 2012: An Update on Cambodia's Inmate Transportation Crisis & The Right to Appeal

April 23, 2012

In 2010, LICADHO reported on an epidemic of in absentia criminal appeals trials in Cambodia. Hundreds of inmates were stranded in provincial prisons, unable to attend their hearings in Phnom Penh due to lack of transportation funding, poor organization between the prisons and courts and, more generally, an indifference to their plight. Two years later, the problem remains unaddressed.

As of February 2012, nearly 800 inmates with pending appeals were held in 11 provincial prisons surveyed by LICADHO. As was the case in 2010, the General Department of Prisons (GDP) still has no means to transport these prisoners to their appeal hearings in Phnom Penh. The prison system lacks the vehicles, gasoline, staffing and funding necessary for a comprehensive long-distance inmate transportation network. This report examines the scope of the problem and possible solutions

Statement All Talk, Little Action: Two Years After UN Human Rights Review, Cambodia Continues to Ignore Key Recommendations

March 22, 2012

This week marks the two year anniversary of the UN Human Rights Council's adoption of Cambodia's Universal Period Review (UPR) outcome report. Remarkably, during the UPR, Cambodia accepted all 91 recommendations presented by dozens of countries on a wide range of human rights issues. Since then, the government has tasked the Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) with coordinating Cambodia's response - a process which has amounted to little, if any, meaningful implementation of the recommendations by relevant state institutions.

After two years of ignoring the substance of the majority of those recommendations, and two years of an ever deteriorating human rights landscape, the Cambodian government owes the UPR delegates and Working Group, and most of all its own citizens, an explanation.

Statement Civil Society Urges Authorities to Arrest the Shooter Behind Last Month's Tragedy in Svay Rieng's Manhattan Special Economic Zone

March 15, 2012

We, the undersigned groups and individual members of civil society, are calling for justice to be served in accordance with the rule of law, with regard to the brutal shootings of three young Cambodian female workers - Buon Chinda, Keo Nei and Nuth Sakhorn - on Feb. 20, 2012, in Svay Rieng's Bavet district.

Many Cambodian garment workers already live a life of hardship, suffering, poverty and uncertainty. As such, the workers should receive protection and support from the State, not face further victimization through brutal acts of violence.

Statement Stop Gun Violence Impunity: Arrest and Prosecute the Svay Rieng Shooter

February 21, 2012

After years of blatant impunity for similar crimes, the latest shooting of three young women while protesting for better working conditions in Svay Rieng province comes as little surprise. Gun violence directed at unarmed protestors has been on the rise recently throughout Cambodia.

"This latest shooting appears to be a clear-cut case of attempted murder," said Am Sam Ath, from LICADHO. "Reports indicate that the gunman shot directly at the protesting workers. There can be no question that such actions constitute premeditation and an intent to kill under the Penal Code."

Statement Revise or Abandon Draft NGO Law: Donors Should Insist on Protections for Civil Society

December 22, 2011

Donors, who provide approximately half of Cambodia's national budget, should make clear to the Cambodian government that the fourth draft of the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO) must be revised to protect civil society or be withdrawn, a group of concerned international human rights organizations said today. Any revisions should involve meaningful consultation with civil society organizations and aim to support their activities instead of creating a legal framework allowing for arbitrary closure of organizations or the denial of registration.

Photo Album
230 Meter Long Petition Submitted to the National Assembly in Cambodia

December 20, 2011

On the morning of December 20, 2011, at 8:30 AM, over 100 Cambodian citizens from Phnom Penh and 23 provinces peacefully unrolled a 230 meter long blue kramar petition in front of the National Assembly. The petition addressed in Khmer to the Royal Government of Cambodia from the citizens of Cambodia calls on the government to: '... halt its intention of passing the Law on Associations and Non governmental Organizations, the Law on Trades Union and the Law on Farmers' Cooperative which restrict the basic rights and freedoms of Cambodian citizens."

Statement Cambodian Democracy Absorbs Another Blow as Assembly Strips Opposition MP's Immunity

December 20, 2011

LICADHO condemns the National Assembly for its decision today to lift the parliamentary immunity of opposition party lawmaker Chan Cheng.

The vote, which took place Tuesday morning, was a politically-motivated attack against Cheng, who is a member of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP)representing Kandal Province.

"Cambodia's democracy is already foundering, and this brings the system one step closer to becoming a total farce," said LICADHO's Director, Naly Pilorge. "The suspension of Chan Cheng's immunity renders the concept of parliamentary immunity meaningless. This is yet another disgrace for Cambodia's democracy."

The National Assembly is dominated by the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and has previously stripped the immunity of opposition politicians under dubious circumstances.