CAMBODIA: On International Human Rights Day, CCHR calls for all Cambodians and donors alike to stand up for human rights in Cambodia 

Today, 10 December 2012 — International Human Rights Day (IHRD) —  the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) calls for all Cambodians and donors alike to stand up for human rights in Cambodia.  In light of the alarming deterioration of human rights since the start of 2012, today is an opportunity for poignant reflection and resolute determination.  Communities must ask themselves how many more forced land evictions, illegal land grabs and extrajudicial killings they are willing to stomach.  Civil society must ask itself how many more human rights defenders they are willing to see harassed, jailed or exiled.  And donors must ask themselves how much more money they are willing to pour into a country where human rights are so evidently in freefall.  After a year in which so much was expected, with Cambodia holding the ASEAN chair, now it is time to set fear and disillusionment aside, and to stand up for human rights.

CCHR therefore supports the IHRD celebrations that have been taking place over the weekend and that will continue today, in particular five communities who have been resolutely challenging human rights violations, namely:

1. Thma Korl village, Sangkat Choam Chao, Khan Pursen Chey, close to Phnom Penh International Airport (Contact: Ms Chray Nim at 092 858 360);
2. Boeng Kak community, Mapheuy Pi village, Sangkat Srah Chak, Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh (Contact: Ms Tep Vanny at 012 604 648);
3. Khsaem Krao village, Khsaem commune, Snoul district, Kratie province (Contact: Ms Mom Sakin at 089 942 159);
4. Tapen village, Tbaeng commune, Banteay Srei district, Siem Reap province (Contact: Ms Keo Sophy at 097 912 7819); and
5. Prey Lang community, Sa Ang village, Sa Ang commune, Chey Sen district, Preah Vihear province (Contact: Ms Preng Arth at 097 60 16 296).

The purpose of these celebrations is to celebrate IHRD, disseminate and share ideas relating to human rights, and build solidarity among communities, so that they can continue and strengthen their advocacy.  Such unity will only help their cause.

CCHR President Ou Virak comments:

“Land evictions, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, the independence of the judiciary, corruption, impunity for serious crimes, the illegal use of armed forces, illegal logging — these are all huge human rights issues at the moment.  Without any political will to change, it is up to the Cambodian people and the donors.  Cambodian people must own up to their responsibility to protect the human rights of all people, especially the most vulnerable.  And donors — and Western taxpayers — should think seriously about where their money is going, and what they can do to change things.  International Human Rights Day 2012 should give everyone cause to think — and act accordingly.”

For more information, please contact Ou Virak via telephone at +855 (0) 1240 4051 or e-mail at or Senior Consultant Robert Finch via telephone at +855 (0) 7880 9960 or e-mail at

Kind regards,

Notes to Editor:

CCHR, founded in November 2002, is a non-aligned, independent, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect democracy and respect for human rights – primarily civil and political rights – throughout Cambodia.

CCHR is a member of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), the global network for freedom of expression.

The Cambodian Human Rights Portal is the 2011 winner of the Information Society Innovation Fund Award in the category of Rights and Freedoms.

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Document Type : Forwarded Press Release
Document ID : AHRC-FPR-064-2012
Countries : Cambodia,
Issues : Freedom of expression, Human rights defenders, Judicial system,