Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Charges against ADHOC Human Rights defenders

The below is a message from ADHOC who address its staffs were accused by Ranakiri court:  

Summons for questioning at Rattanakiri provincial court, of two dedicated human rights defenders working for the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) in Rattanakiri Province. The two men are due to appear in court on 19 September 2011 subject to charges of incitement made in 2009 and relating to a land dispute in the province affecting large numbers of indigenous people. The case was delayed and in the mean time the investigative judge who originally charged the men, retired and was replaced by Mr. Loch Lau.

Mr. Pen Bonnar and Mr. Chhay Thy are hopeful that their names will be cleared on Monday the 19th September in Rattanakiri provincial court. However, this remains a sensitive case and one that highlights the present use of the judiciary to silence dissent in Cambodia. Due to this sensitivity and upon the requests of the two human rights defenders, ADHOC has not been very outspoken on this issue. Nonetheless we realise the importance of disseminating accurate information regarding this case, and therefore are attaching a statement outlining the background of the land conflict in the area and the charges of incitement against Mr. Pen Bonnar, Mr. Chhay Thy and journalist Mr. Ratha Visal.

It's sure that you will understand the gravity of this situation for the three men involved, and for all human rights defenders in Cambodia, and we hope that we will have your continuing support on this issue.

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