CAMBODIA: CHRAC Condemns Grave Human Rights Violation Committed by the Government Authorities
Phnom Penh, May 28, 2012
The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), a coalition of 22 NGOs, condemns the serious human rights violations committed recently by the armed forces of the Royal Government of Cambodia. These forces have evicted people from their home lands; used violent acts against peaceful assemblies; committed extra judicial killings; caused serious injuries; arrested and detained citizens in custody without proper investigation; attempted to arrest community representatives; destroyed citizens’ properties and grabbed their land without paying fair and just compensations.
CHRAC notes that the Government’s authorities have failed to conduct thorough investigations into these violations or to seek peaceful resolutions for those cases. Moreover, CHRAC has also noted that in many land dispute cases, instead of defending the interests of the community people, the armed forces were present instead to defend the interests of private companies. They did not carry out their duties properly in accordance with current legal procedures and laws. The court, in similar cases, has accused and sentenced some community representatives without adequate legal basis. Some of these cases are highlighted below.
1- On 24 May 2012, the Phnom Penh municipal court issued arrest warrants to detain 15 representatives of Boeng Kak lake community who were protesting the recent seizure of their land plots by Shukaku Inc Co, Ltd.
2- There was a deathly shooting of a 14-year-old girl, Heng Chantha, by the armed forces on 16 May 2012 in Kampong Damrei commune, Chhlong district, Kratie province during a displacement mission by the authorities which provoked a protest. None of the authorities have taken responsibility for the shooting. As another result of the displacements, 8 protesters were arrested and put in jail while another five still face the possibility of being arrested. This is an example of an extra-judicial killing case.
3- Mr. Chhut Wuthy, the President of Environmental and Natural Resource Protection Organization, was shot dead on 26 April 2012 when he entered into a logging place, prohibited by the armed forces, in order to collect information in Koh Por village, Bak Khlorng commune, Mondul Seima district, Koh Kong province. As of yet, no full and proper investigation has been conducted by the authorities to find perpetrators to bring to trial.
4- Three garment factory workers were shot and injured by a Government official while protesting to demand a resolution to their labor rights violation in Bavit city, Svay Rieng province on 20 February 2012. This case was considered an intentional assault, but the provincial court did not properly investigate into this case and instead the prosecutor alleged that the perpetrator had unintentionally assaulted the workers. The perpetrator has still not been arrested.
5- On 18 January 2012, the armed forces fired on a group of people who were protesting for the proper resolution of their land cases against TTY Co, Ltd in Snuol district,
Kratie province. As a result, 4 people were seriously injured. This case shows another act of violence committed by the armed forces on peaceful protests in Cambodia.
CHRAC would like to urge the Royal Government to stop using violent acts against peaceful demonstrations, to immediately investigate all extra-judicial shooting cases, and to demand the immediate release of 15 Boeng Kak residents in detention as well as other citizens who were arrested on land-related reasons. We also call for the authorities to stop arresting community representatives due to land issues and to begin immediate steps toward bringing those who are responsible for shooting cases to trial. This must be done in order to improve Cambodia’s image as the current Chair of the Association of South East Asian Nations (“ASEAN”).
Further information, please contact:
Mr. Ny Chakriya Chief of Investigation Unit of ADHOC Tel: 011 274 959
Mr. Sok Sam Oeun Executive Director of CDP Tel: 012 901 199
Mr. Mak Chamroeun President of KYA Tel: 097 444 5777
Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC)
Address: # 9E0, St. 330, Sangkat Boeung Keng Kong III,
Khan. Chamcar Morn, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tel/Fax: (855) 23 218 759, Tel: (855) 23 301 415, 305 609
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com