Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Human Rights Defenders Encounter More Danger – Tuesday, 31.8.2010

via Khmer NZ

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 680

“Phnom Penh: According to the latest report from the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights [LICADHO], titled ‘Attacks and Threats against Human Rights Defenders in Cambodia from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2009,’ human rights defenders in Cambodia faced more danger during the last two years.

“The report of LICADHO to be released on 1 September 2010 says that human rights defenders in Cambodia suffered physical abuses, unlawful arrests, fake accusations over criminal cases, restrictions of their rights to assemble and move freely, intimidations, and forced evictions.

“LICADHO investigated and noted that within two years (2008 and 2009), there were 67 serious abuses against human rights defenders. By 15 July 2010, 60 human rights defenders have been jailed in Cambodia.

“Human rights defenders refer to journalists, representatives of communities, land protesters, trade unions, and staff members of civil society organizations.

“The same report added that representatives and leaders of communities involved in land disputes received threats with the use of violence, legal actions, or detentions while trade union leaders suffered from violations, detentions, and mistreatment through legal procedures. Journalists and staff members of civil society organizations were intimidated, arrested, and prevented from doing their work.

“The report continued that the Royal Government of Cambodia has good relations with some companies and individuals, but continues to use different means to impose constraints and also uses the courts as weapons, to block legal activities of human rights defenders, scaring them and weakening their ability for non-violent struggle and expressing their opinions.

“The president of LICADHO, Ms. Pong Chhiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru], said in a statement released to journalists on 30 August 2010 that even though Cambodia signed many international treaties and the contents of national laws guarantee human rights, the situation got worse and worse for many human rights defenders and staff member of civil society organizations.

“The report goes on that in 2009, there were at least 25 lawsuits over defamation, disinformation, and other offenses against journalists. Among those four journalists sued was also the editor-in-chief of the opposition newspaper Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, who was convicted to serve a prison term.

“So far, there is yet no reaction from government officials to the report of LICADHO.”

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5290, 31.8.2010
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 31 August 2010

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