Cambodia
20.01.06
Urgent Interventions

Cambodia: Release on bail of Mr. Rong Chhun

Case KHM 201005.1
Follow up to Case KHM 201005

Release on bail / Judicial proceedings

Geneva, January 20, 2006

The International Secretariat of OMCT requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Cambodia.

New Information:

The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source about the release on bail of Mr. Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodia Independent Teachers’ Association (CITA).

According to the information received, on January 17, 2006, Mr. Om Tentieng, Government Spokesperson, said that the Cambodian Prime Minister agreed to write a letter to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to allow bail for the four detainees, after a meeting with the US envoy Mr. Christopher Hill, who was in Phnom Penh on occasion of the inauguration of the new US embassy.

Subsequently, Mr. Rong Chhun, along with Mr. Kem Sokha, President of the Cambodian Centre of Human Rights (CCHR), Mr. Pa Nguon Teang, CCHR Deputy Director, (See Observatory* urgent appeal KHM 001/0106/OBS 001.3, dated January 18, 2006), and Mr. Mam Sonando, Director of Beehive radio, were released on bail.

Mr. Mam Sonando had been arrested on October 11, 2005, in the same circumstances as Mr. Rong Chhun.

OMCT has no further information on Mr. Chea Mony, Mr. Man Nath, and Mr. Ear Channa mentioned in Case KHM 201005 (See below).

The International Secretariat of OMCT thanks all the persons, organisations and institutions who intervened in favour of this release.

However, charges against Mr. Rong Chhun were not dropped. As a consequence, the International Secretariat of OMCT urges the Cambodian authorities to ensure that all charges against Mr. Rong Chhun be dropped, as they are arbitrary.

Brief reminder of the situation:


On October 15, 2005, Mr. Rong Chhun had been arrested at Poi Pet Checkpoint, Banteay Meancheay Province at 3 pm, brought to Phnom Penh Municipal Court and charged with “defamation against the Prime Minister”, and “inciting others to commit a crime”. The charges against him were based on a statement made by him and three others on October 11, 2005, pertaining to the signature of a border agreement concluded between the Prime Minister and Vietnam’s Prime Minister on the next day.

Mr. Chhun was detained in Prey Sor Prison.

Arrest warrants were also allegedly issued on the same grounds against Mr. Chea Mony, President of the Free Trade Union of the Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC), Mr. Man Nath, President of the Cambodian Independent Civil Servant Association, and Mr. Ear Channa, Deputy Secretary General of the Student Movement for Democracy.

Mr. Rong Chhun, Mr. Chea Mony, Mr. Man Nath, and Mr. Ear Channa, are all members of the “Cambodia Watchdog Council” that monitors government activities.

Action requested:

Please write to the authorities of Cambodia urging them to:
i. guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Rong Chhun, Mr. Mam Sonando, Mr. Chea Mony, Mr. Man Nath, and Mr. Ear Channa;
ii. ensure that the above-mentioned persons are given prompt and fair trials, in which their procedural rights are guaranteed at all times, and ensure that charges against them be dropped as they are arbitrary and violate their freedom of expression;
iii. Order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of these arrests and arrest warrants, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
iv. Ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.

Addresses:

  • Mr. Hun Sen, Prime Minister, Office of the Prime Minister, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, Fax: +855 23 36 06 66 / 855 23 88 06 24 (c/o Council of Ministers), Email: leewood_phu@nida.gov.kh

  • Mr. Sar Kheng, Deputy Prime Minister and Co-Minister of Interior, Ministry of Interior, 275 Norodom Blvd, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, Fax: + 855 23 21 27 08

  • Mr. Hor Nam Hong, Minister of Foreign Affairs, 161 Preah Sisowath Quay, cnr rue 204, Phnom Penh
    Kingdom of Cambodia, Fax: + 855 23 21 61 44 / + 855 23 21 61 42

  • Mr. Om Yentieng, Minister & President of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, Office of the Prime Minister, Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia, Fax: +855 12 81 37 81 / +855 23 21 11 62 or +855 23 88 10 45 (c/o Council of Ministers)

  • Mr. Sok An, Deputy Prime Minister, Fax: + 855 23 88 06 24, Email: leewood_phu@nida.gov.kh

  • Ambassador Mr. Vun Chheang, Permanent Mission of Cambodia to the United Nations in Geneva, Chemin de Taverney 3, Case postale 213, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 788 77 74


Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Cambodia in your respective countries.

***
Geneva, January 20, 2006

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.



---------------------------

* The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders is a joint programme of OMCT and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).
Sign up now

Subscribe to our latest news & alerts