News Archive

Frenzied development in Cambodia pushes its people out of the capital to squalid conditions
Published on June 14, 2006

At the early hour of 4 am on June 6, 2006 around 700 police and military police in full riot gear circled Sambok Chap village and erected roadblocks - as far as 1km away - to prevent access to the village. In a show of determined force rarely seen in the capital, the police build up would be the final push by the authorities to forcefully evict the remaining residents of Sambok Chap village on the banks of the Tonle Bassac River.

The eviction of Sambok Chap village by the Sour Srun Company began on May 3, 2006, and was authorized by the Phnom Penh municipality. Within a month, more than 1300 families would be moved from this central location to 2 relocation sites, some 20km out of central Phnom Penh.

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Cambodian workers overcome repression to celebrate May Day
Published on May 1, 2006

Around two thousand factory workers gathered at the Independence Monument and later in front of the National Assembly to celebrate May Day, despite the efforts by hundreds of police to stop workers entering Phnom Penh. Organisers of the rally were officially refused permission to hold the event, with the Ministry of Interior claiming the site was already being used by the pro-Government Cambodian Confederation of Trade Unions (CCTU). Yet, media reported that the CCTU held an event attended by Prime Minister Hun Sen and aired on Apsara television station on the night of Sunday April 30. Workers present at the rally reported that the CCTU's planned rally failed to happen.

On the basis of this disingenuous excuse, police undertook a coordinated effort to prevent workers entering Phnom Penh. LICADHO strongly condemns this restriction to people's freedom of movement.

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In Cambodia, medical corruption punishes the poorest of the poor
Published on April 4, 2006

LICADHO dispatched a team from its Medical Office to provide emergency assistance to the small village of Phluk Thnung, in Kampong Speu province, after Radio Free Asia reported the village was suffering from a sudden increase in health and nutrition problems. They were joined by both national and international organizations and provided health care services, medicine, dry food and vegetables to villagers in need.

The medical team first visited Phluk Thnung on March 5, 2006. Carrying with them basic medicine and vitamins, the field visit revealed a village plagued by poverty and insufficient basic infrastructure. Several villagers were found to be gravely ill or disabled, and lacked the resources to seek treatment.

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LICADHO celebrates International Women's Day with female prisoners, their children and special guests
Published on March 16, 2006

In celebration of International Women's Day on 8 March 2006, representatives from the Prison Project Office of LICADHO together with representatives from the Embassy of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM) visited CC2, PJ and Takmao prisons to distribute material assistance to female prisoners and female guards.

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Riot police hussle protesters away from Indonesian president's visit
Published on February 28, 2006

On February 27, 2006, factory workers gathered in Stung Meanchey district for a peaceful demonstration that would, by day's end, be intimidated by riot police in order to 'clean up the streets' during the Indonesian president's visit.

The demonstration was organized by the coalition of Cambodia Apparel of Worker Democratic Union (CCAWDU) and the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC). The workers demanded that a decision by the Arbitration Council on the duration of contracts be respected and that seven employees who were fired after advocating for better working conditions be reinstated.

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Civil Society Members Show Support for Detainees
Published on January 16, 2006

On January 14, 2006, more than 150 members of human rights organizations, unions and other groups gathered in front of Prey Sar prison to show support for Mam Sonando, Rong Chhun, Kem Sokha and Pa Nguon Teang, all all detained inside the prison on defamation or related charges. Community Legal Education Center executive director Yeng Virak, who until recently was also detained with the other four men in the prison, was present at the event.

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UN Rules Against Imprisonment of Cheam Channy
Published on January 12, 2006

An independent United Nations body has ruled that the detention of Sam Rainsy Party MP Cheam Channy is in violation of both Cambodian and international law.

In a decision communicated to the Cambodian government on 25 November 2005 and now made public, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) found that the Cambodian Military Court had no jurisdiction over Cheam Channy, a civilian and Member of Parliament for Kampong Cham province.

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Pressure on freedom of expression continues amid climate of fear
Published on December 1, 2005

Following the arrests of Mr Mam Sonando and Mr Rong Chhun and the issuing of warrants for 3 other members of the Cambodian Watchdog Council, the Royal Government of Cambodia has continued its actions of silencing civil society and the monarchy in the wake of the signing of the Supplemental Document on the 1985 Border Treaty with Vietnam.

Most recently, on 21 November 2005, a summons was issued for Mr Say Bory, an advisor to retired King Sihanouk, to answer questions relating to allegedly defamatory comments made by the advisor in relation to the Border Treaty. Mr Say Bory is currently residing in France and was asked by the retired King not to return to Cambodia.

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Arrests for defamation calls into question freedom of expression
Published on October 21, 2005

On 11 October, 2005 at approximately 7 am, Mr Mam Sonando, director of Beehive Radio FM 105, was removed from his house in Kean Svay Districtm Kandal Province. He was arrested without warrant by Kandal Police and was witnessed by media representatives and NGO workers.

On the same morning Mr Mam Sonando was brought before the Phnom Penh Municipal Court where he was charged with defamation under Article 63 of the UNTAC Law. The charges related to the broadcasting on 20 September 2005 of a radio interview between Mr Mam Sonando and Mr Sean Pengse, the former President of the Paris-based Cambodia's Border Committee.

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Further land abuses in Phnom Penh perpetuates the cycle of poverty, violence
Published on September 19, 2005

On the 9th of September 2005, the Governor and Deputy Governor of Khan Russei Keo led approximately 100 armed civilian and military police, together with bulldozers and approximately 20 workers to demolish 200 private houses occupied by squatters. This incident continued the dangerous trend by authorities of illegally evicting squatters and reappropriating land, through violent and destructive means.

In the course of the eviction the authories destroyed the houses of 545 families, including their personal belongings. One resident was also injured during the eviction and was treated by the LICADHO Medical Office. The local authories did not carry out the eviction peacefully, nor did they obtain the proper warrants for the eviction or provide the residents with the required notice period. The eviction was a clear violation of legal procedures and an illegal act of destruction of private property.

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Kbal Spean community continues to fight for its land, life, livelihood
Published on September 7, 2005

On September 2, 2005, six members of the Kbal Spean community who were evicted from their village on March 21 this year presented information about their case and appealed to Father King Sihanouk, gov't leaders, NGOs and UN agencies for a resolution of their situation following the press conference of the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing for the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Miloon Kothari came on a mission to Cambodia from August 22 until September 3 and researched a number of land and housing cases, including the case of the Kbal Spean community. For the event, a special report by the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC) on the Kbal Spean community was released at the media conference outlining the situation prior to the deadly event, a recollection of what happened on March 21, and offering recommendations to the government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and the judiciary.

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Unjust trial of opposition parliamentarian leads to conviction, 7 years
Published on August 9, 2005

On Tuesday morning August 9, Military Court Judge General Nay Thol sentenced opposition Law maker Cheam Channy to 7 years Imprisonment on charges of organizing illegal armed forces and committing fraud, despite lack of credible testimony or evidence to back up charges.

LICADHO condemns the August 8 trial of Cheam Channy, a parliamentarian for the Sam Rainsy Party, which should not have been held in the Military Court. The Military Court does not have jurisdiction over civilians such as Cheam Channy. LICADHO is also deeply concerned by the grossly unfair treatment of Cheam Channy during the course of the trial.

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Cambodian government sends back Vietnamese Montagnards subjected to mistreatment
Published on July 20, 2005

On Tuesday, July 19, 2005, approximately one hundred (100) Montagnards whose applications for refugee status had been rejected by UNHCR were handed over to Cambodian officials for deportation proceedings. UNHCR’s decision came despite protestation by its implementing partner, the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS), that some of those being forcibly returned had “fair claims” for refugee status.

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Land concession threatens Phnong livelihood and culture
Published on July 19, 2005

On August 9, 2004, the Cambodian government agreed to give land in Mondulkiri province to the Wuzhishan L.S. Group, a Cambodian-Chinese company, to operate a pine tree plantation. While Cambodia's Land Law restricts land concessions to a maximum of 10,000 hectares, the Cambodian government agreed in principle to give Wuzhishan Group a total of 199,999 hectares. It approved an immediate 10,000 hectares for testing and planting, with the remainder to be given later after further deliberations and discussions with Cambodia's foreign donors.

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Working together to combat trafficking, exploitation and abuse of children
Published on May 30, 2005

A children’s art contest and a comedy stage show are among activities to be held by LICADHO on June 1 to mark International Children’s Day and highlight the need for greater action to protect the rights and improve the live’s of Cambodia’s children.

In celebrating International Children’s Day this year, LICADHO is promoting the theme of “Working Together to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation and Abuse of Children.” Day-long activities will be undertaken in Sihanoukville; Siem Reap; Chamkar Leu in Kompong Cham, Kien Svay and Muk Kampul in Kandal; Koh Kong; and Dangkao in Phnom Penh.

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Prison Population Watch
12,780 Occupancy Rate: ↘153%

Click here for the latest report on prison overcrowding
Monthly population figures as of February 27, 2014, from the 18 prisons monitored by LICADHO

The Great Cambodian Giveaway

Visualizing Land Concessions over Time