Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia

STATEMENT: Human Rights Defender Chan Soveth Not Detained After Questioning

Chan Soveth Trial

Today the Phnom Penh Municipal Court decided not to detain prominent rights worker, Mr. Chan Soveth. Chan Soveth is a senior investigator and Deputy Head of the Human Rights Monitoring Section at the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC). ADHOC reiterates that Soveth has done nothing wrong, that he has acted in accordance with the law at all times, and calls for the charges against him to be permanently dropped. […] During the questioning on 24 December, Chan Soveth restated that he had never committed any wrongdoing, and that his activities were all part of his legitimate human rights work. […] ADHOC requests that the charges against Chan Soveth be dropped immediately.

Picture: ©John Vink/ Magnum

STATEMENT: ADHOC Condemns Illegal Logging of Indigenous Community Land in Ratanakiri Province

The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) wishes to strongly condemn the deforestation and illegal logging of timber by two Vietnamese Companies, Dai Dongguan and Seventy Two, that have received Economic Land Concessions (ELCs) in Porknhai commune, O’yadaw district, Ratanakiri province. ADHOC is also concerned at the intimidation of the Lom village indigenous community, which has been threatened that if they do not change from collective land ownership to individual land ownership, they would have to pay approximately $700-$800 to the local authorities as a ‘fine.’ The rights of Cambodia’s indigenous communities must be respected and its forest preserved, and ADHOC calls on the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to intervene and solve this land conflict and the many others affecting Cambodia’s indigenous communities.

STATEMENT: ADHOC Staff Members Meet with European Diplomats

ADHOC Staff Members Meet with European Diplomats in Phnom Penh (19 December 2012)

Diplomats from the Embassies of Denmark, France, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well as the Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Cambodia, visited yesterday the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC). The meeting took place at the association’s central office and allowed the diplomats to review ADHOC’s activities and the human rights work carried out by its investigators.

On this occasion, they met with ADHOC staff members, including Mr. Chan Soveth, who has been summoned to appear before the investigating judge on 24 December at 2:30pm on the accusation of “providing assistance to the perpetrator” of a crime—an offense punishable by one to three years imprisonment and a fine from 2 to 6 million riels.

STATEMENT: Charges Dropped against Chhuk Bundith

The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) expresses its utmost disappointment at the decision of Svay Rieng Provincial Court to drop all charges against former Bavet City Governor Chhuk Bundith, who was accused of firing his gun at three female factory workers at Svay Rieng Special Economic Zone. It took Prosecutor Hing Bunchea almost ten months to decide that, despite Chhuk Bundith’s own confession and confirmation by numerous witnesses that he was the gunman, Chhuk Bundith was not even to be tried for causing “unintentional injuries”—let alone attempted murder.

STATEMENT: The Court of Appeal Should Have Granted Bail to Mam Sonando

The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) wishes to express its disappointment at the decision made today by the Court of Appeal not to release Mam Sonando – the owner of independent Beehive Radio and president of the Democrats Association – on bail. Mam Sonando was arrested in July and sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges that were widely perceived to be politically motivated. His detention has sparked international outrage and has been condemned at the highest levels. The reasons given for the denial of Mam Sonando’s bail were completely unfounded.

STATEMENT: The Court of Appeal Should Grant Bail to Mam Sonando

The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) urges the Court of Appeal to grant a bail request made by the lawyer of Mam Sonando at a hearing scheduled for Friday 14 December 2012. Mam Sonando – the owner of independent Beehive Radio and head of the Democrats Association – was arrested in July and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment on 1 October 2012, on charges that were widely perceived to be politically motivated. ADHOC has been monitoring this case closely and welcomes the news that a bail hearing has been scheduled. Nevertheless, though Mam Sonando’s release on bail would be a positive move by the Appeal Court, his conviction should be overturned as soon as possible given the apparent political interference in his case.