Thursday, October 13, 2011

Human rights activists and journalist summonsed to court to answer two year old charges

13 October 2011
Pen Bonnar, Chhay Thy and Ratha Visal
Category of human rights defender (HRD):      
NGO workers and Journalist
Ratanakiri Province, Cambodia
Nature of threat:           
Judicial Harassment, charges of incitement
The three men are due to appear for questioning before the investigating judge of the Ratanakiri provincial court on 13 October subject to charges of incitement dating back to 2009.

Brief Description:

Pen Bonnar and Chhay Thy, two human rights defenders working for the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and Ratha Visal, a journalist with Radio Free Asia (RFA) are due at the Ratanakiri Provincial Court in north east Cambodia tomorrow, 13 October, to answer incitement charges dating back to 2009.

The charges arise from the work the three men have carried out in relation to a land dispute in Patang village, Lumphat district, Ratanakiri province over an area of 260 hectares of land involving a private company, D.M. Group, and 136 indigenous Tumpuon people. Pen Bonnar and Chhay Thy have been active in this case, providing training to the villagers on their human rights relating to land and natural resources and on non-violent means of dispute resolution. The charges against Ratha Visal arise from his journalist work covering the dispute for RFA.

The charges against the three men were originally announced in 2009 by Judge Thor Saron, who has since retired and been replaced in this case as investigating judge by Judge Loch Lao. Judge Thor Saron was the subject of an investigation by the Supreme Council of Magistracy, the body constitutionally mandated to investigate delinquent judges, in 2009 following a complaint letter to His Majesty King Sihamoni from the Cambodian Center for Human Rights in connection to allegations made against Judge Thor Saron via the media in relation to his handling of this and another case in Ratanakiri province.

According to a statement from ADHOC, the allegations against the three men were made by a village representative under pressure from Judge Thor Saron.
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ព្រឹតិ្តច្បាប់កម្ពុជា (ព ច ក)គឺជាក្រុមឯករាជ្យ និងមិនមែនជាបក្សនយោបាយទេ ជាក្រុមស្ម័គ្រចិត្តដែល ធ្វើការ​ សម្រាប់ធ្វើ ការផ្សព្វផ្សាយអំពីច្បាប់ និងព័តមាន ដែលទាក់ទងនឹងការអភិវឌ្ឍ និងស្ថានភាព សិទ្ធិមនុស្សនៅកម្ពុជា។ រាល់មតិ យោបល់នៅក្នុងព្រឹត្តនេះមិនអាចយកទៅធើ្វជាអំណះ អំណាង ចំពោះមុខ តុលាការ រឺក្នុងគោលបំណងអ្វីផ្សេងទៀត ឡើយ។ ព​ ច ក​ គ្រាន់ផ្តល់នូ​វ​ចំណេះដឹងច្បាប់ និងចំណេះដឹងផ្សេងៗទៀតដល់ប្រជាពលរដ្ឌប៉ុណ្ណោះ។ ប្រសិនលោក អ្នកចង់ដឹងព័តមានបន្ថែមអំពី ព ច ក សូមផ្ញើអីម៉ែលមកយើងខ្ញុំ។​ យើងខ្ញុំសូមស្វាគមន៌រាល់មតិលំអដល់ ព ច ក៕
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