Phnom Penh, 11 February 2014 – The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) condemns the Court’s decision today to continue to detain 21 demonstrators arrested during peaceful demonstrations in early January, 2014. ADHOC provided lawyers to 15 of the 23 people arrested at Yakjin Factory on 02 January 2014 and at the Canadia Industrial Zone on 03 January 2014.
ADHOC urges the Courts to drop all charges against the 23 demonstrators, and to compensate them for the time they have been illegally detained. Citizens of Cambodia have a constitutionally protected right to demonstrate, a right which has been denied through the use of deadly force to crackdown on demonstrators and the ongoing ban on assemblies. Four people have been killed; one young man is missing and scores more have been injured since the start of January. As yet nobody has been held to account for the violence, highlighting the culture of impunity which plagues Cambodia. The use of live ammunition on demonstrators is in breach of international standards of proportionality and has been widely condemned by rights groups and observers.