EU, World Bank Handed Petitions to Help Free Tep Vanny

Source: Cambodia daily

Boeng Kak community members call for the release of prominent activist Tep Vanny in front of the EU headquarters in Phnom Penh on Wednesday morning. (John Vink)

More than 30 Boeng Kak activists delivered petitions to the E.U. and World Bank’s Phnom Penh headquarters on Wednesday morning asking the two bodies to lobby government officials for the release of prominent activist Tep Vanny ahead of a court appeal against her prison sentence next week, the activists said. Continue reading

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‘Chaotic’ Phnom Penh was built on a wing and a prayer – and an occasional police baton

Source: Phnom Penh Post

A ‘Black Monday’ protester leads the march at the Boeung Kak area of Phnom Penh last year. Pha Lina

The Pearl of Asia. Paris of the East. The monikers are today synonymous with Phnom Penh under the French and the Golden Era under Prince Norodom Sihanouk until the 1970s.

The small but bustling city boasted grand boulevards, a thriving cultural scene and an emerging skyline dotted with Vann Molyvann’s “New Khmer” architectural creations. It was reportedly even the object of former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s envy after a visit in April 1967. Continue reading

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After Adhoc 5, Campaigners Set Sights on Activist Tep Vanny

Source: The Cambodia Daily

Land activist Tep Vanny is led into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for sentencing in February. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

With the Adhoc 5 now out of prison on bail, some advocates are shifting their focus to jailed land activist Tep Vanny, one of 20 Cambodians that rights groups say are languishing behind bars as political prisoners.

Ms. Vanny, 36, who has made a name for herself in recent years with her vocal participation in Continue reading

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The Dangers of Dissent: Attacks on Cambodia’s Human Rights Defenders

Source: LICAHDO

“We are not scared of jail. We have been here before. But we need to be released, so we can continue to fight for justice.”
Boeung Kak Lake representative Tep Vanny, March 2017.

“We are all still human rights defenders. The first thing I will do is continue my human rights work.”
ADHOC staffer Yi Soksan on his release from prison, June 2017.As Cambodia’s human rights situation continues to backslide, exposing and speaking out against state-perpetrated abuses is ever more crucial. In the last two years, however, human rights defenders and other critical or independent voices have been among the main victims of Cambodia’s fractious political situation. In July 2016, one human rights defender who regularly offered dissenting views paid the ultimate price. Political analyst Kem Ley was shot dead in broad daylight; although the main suspect was subsequently convicted of murder after a four-hour trial, to date, there has been no credible thorough investigation into the killing. Continue reading

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Land Issue Promises May No Longer Deliver Votes

Source: The Cambodia Daily

Motorists drive past the White Building in Phnom Penh in September last year. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Vote-seeking politicians around the world are no strangers to making—and later breaking—promises to their constituents. But in Phnom Penh, those weary of ongoing land disputes are particularly wary of the solutions being offered this election cycle.

Continue reading

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Hun Sen is waging ‘systematic campaign’ to silence dissent: Amnesty

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Security guards arrest a land rights activist from the Boeung Kak community during a protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2014. Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP

Cambodia’s criminal justice system appears to have been methodically suppressing opposition to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government in the lead-up to important elections, with critics of his regime routinely being jailed without evidence or fair trial, Amnesty International says in a report released today.

Hun Sen’s government “seems to have embarked on a systematic Continue reading

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World Bank Loan of $100 Million Angers Boeng Kak Activists

Source: The Cambodia Daily

Former Boeng Kak residents submit a petition at the World Bank’s office in Phnom Penh in 2015.(Satoshi Takahashi)World

Boeng Kak supporters on Tuesday said they were dismayed at the World Bank’s announcement of a new $100 million loan to the Cambodian government amid ongoing harassment and jailings of land rights activists.

The loan—announced on Friday and intended to improve rural Continue reading

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