Sat the 13th Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 29, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
លោក ប៉ែន សុវណ្ណ Pen Sovann
Phnom Penh, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) — Cambodian former prime minister and current opposition lawmaker Pen Sovann died on Saturday night at the age of 80 due to illness, the opposition party said in a statement.
“His Excellency Pen Sovann, a member of parliament and former prime minister during the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, died at 19:17 local time on Oct. 29, 2016 at the age of 80 due to illness at his house in (southern) Takeo province,” the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) said in the statement.
Pen Sovann had suffered a stroke since January last year.
He used to be the prime minister of Cambodia for six months in 1981 after the fall of the Democratic Kampuchea in 1979.
Thu the 11th Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 27, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
The Associated Press, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, by Sopheng Cheang
Cambodia’s foreign minister assured the United States on Thursday that the political deadlock in the country will ease soon since opposition lawmakers have agreed to end their boycott of the parliament and attend its upcoming plenary session. ?
Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn made the assurance during a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Daniel R. Russel who is on an Asia visit. (more…)
Tue the 9th Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 25, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Download Khmer version: rhona-smith-10202560kh PHNOM PENH / BANGKOK / GENEVA (20 October 2016) – The time for the Government of Cambodia to blame the troubles of the last century for the situation today is surely over, United Nations Special Rapporteur Rhona Smith said at the end of her third visit* to the country to assess progress on issues of discrimination against ethnic minorities, indigenous peoples, vulnerable groups as well as the current human rights situation.
“Cambodia has earned its place on the international stage as an equal sovereign state and, as such, the Government must take responsibility for fully implementing at the national, provincial and commune/sangkat levels all those rights and freedoms in the treaties it has so willingly ratified,” stressed the independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to monitor and advise on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.
On the eve of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords which laid down the framework for the present Cambodian constitution and enshrined respect for human rights, Ms. Smith observed that the Cambodia of 2016 is very different from the Cambodia of 1991: “The progress and development is well worth celebrating, however imperfect aspects of that progress may be.”
Drawing on the text of the Accords, she identified particular issues with the realisation of human rights today. “The Cambodian constitution in Article 31 makes clear the emphasis to be placed on respect for human rights and on ensuring that the law is applied without discrimination on any ground. Yet, there are many examples of the law being applied in an apparently discriminatory or politicised manner,” she said. “Restrictions on freedoms of assembly, expression and association are particularly problematic.”
The Special Rapporteur commended Cambodia’s strong and vibrant civil society, symbolic of the post-1991 country. However, she underlined that “civil society is under a duty to respect the law of Cambodia and the rights and freedoms of others,” noting that “human rights defenders and activists are not, necessarily, political actors.”
The independent expert called on the Cambodian authorities to review and revise a number of laws to strengthen the protection of human rights, and called for judges to publish reasoning for all decisions in order to strengthen both real and perceived judicial independence.
Focusing on vulnerable groups not yet in a position of equality under the law, Ms. Smith commented that rounding up people in street situations is simply not acceptable, after a visit to the Prey Speu Drop In Centre. “There is a need for a holistic approach to economic and social rights to ensure no one is left behind,” she said in a reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Chronic overcrowding in the two main prisons was also a cause for concern, on which the expert recommended increasing the use of non-custodial sentencing and reducing the reliance on provisional detention as two ways to alleviate the overcrowding.
“The Paris Peace Accords provided for full and fair opportunities for everyone to organise and participate in genuine elections,” the expert said looking to the forthcoming local elections in 2017 and national elections in 2018. However, she warned that “there is a deep loss of trust between the two principal political parties.”
“I urge both parties, through intermediaries as necessary, to explore opportunities for working productively together,” Ms. Smith stated. “Both parties were elected in 2013 to serve the people of Cambodia. The people deserve that those they entrusted do so professionally in the best interests of the people.”
During her ten-day visit, the Special Rapporteur met in Phnom Penh with numerous senior Government officials, members of the UN system, the diplomatic community and representatives of a broad range of civil society actors and other stakeholders.
In addition, she undertook visits to various sites in and around Phnom Penh including Khmer Cham living on land and on the river, the Prey Sar commune correctional centres (CC1 and CC2) and the Drop In Centre (formerly Prey Speu). She also visited Kampong Speu Province where she had meetings with provincial authorities, members of indigenous communities, and communities claiming loss of land due to sugar concessions.
Ms. Rhona Smith was appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2015. Ms. Smith is a Professor of International Human Rights Law in the United Kingdom. She has also taught international human rights law as a visiting professor in China and Canada and spent time as a distinguished visitor in Vanuatu. Professor Smith has also been a visiting professor in Cambodia where she worked on designing and developing course curricula for the re-launch of Cambodia’s first master level program in human rights law. To learn more, see:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/SP/CountriesMandates/KH/Pages/SRCambodia.aspx
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.
For additional information and media enquiries, please contact: In Phnom Penh: Ms. Christine Pickering (+855 23 993 590/91, Ext: 213 / email@example.com) In Geneva (before and after the visit): Ms. Jennifer Kraft (+41 22 928 9830 or write firstname.lastname@example.org)
For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Mr. Xabier Celaya – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / email@example.com)
ការិយាល័យសិទ្ធិមនុស្សរបស់អង្គការសហប្រជាជាតិទាមទារការបកស្រាយចំពោះការនិរទេសរបស់លោក សម រង្ស៊ី
Tue the 9th Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 25, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Courtesy the Cambodia Daily
Wed the 3rd Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 19, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Download in Khmer: rhona-smith-statement-khmer
Download in English: rhona-smith-statement-eng
Phnom Penh – “The Cambodia of 2016 is very different from the Cambodia of 1991,” says Special Rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, Prof. Rhona Smith, this evening. “The progress and development is well worth celebrating, however imperfect aspects of that progress may be. The time for the Government to blame the troubles of the last century for the situation today is surely over.” Prof. Smith made these remarks in a statement at her end-of-mission press conference, held at the OHCHR office in Phnom Penh. Covering a wide range of issues that were brought up in her various field trips and meetings, the statement included recommendations to the Government on vulnerable groups, land rights, rule of law and justice, prison reform, electoral preparations, and the general human rights situation in the country.
The Special Rapporteur reiterated her “pledge [to the Government] to assist by advising, monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in Cambodia.”
It’s bad enough for Vietnam to use vague laws to imprison peaceful critics and activists. But it’s even more outrageous to lock up someone for five years just because the government arbitrarily decides that they are preparing to criticize the government. Brad Adams, HRW Asia Director
Assembly Should Overhaul Laws Recently Used to Silence Blogger ‘Mother Mushroom’
Tue the 2nd Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 18, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
The National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam on July 20, 2016. Reuters/Kham
New York – Vietnam’s National Assembly should reform the criminal law to respect basic rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion, Human Rights Watch said today. The National Assembly is considering revisions to the penal code during its session scheduled from October 20 to November 22, 2016. The laws were used in October’s arrest of prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as “Mother Mushroom.”
“Many articles related to national security in Vietnam’s laws are vaguely defined and often used arbitrarily to punish critics, activists, and bloggers,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The National Assembly should take this opportunity to strip provisions that have created so many political prisoners and bring Vietnam’s laws in line with international standards.” (more…)
Wed the 11th Waxing Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 12, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Scores of Vietnamese dissidents are in jail in the one-party state, where private media is banned and critics are regularly subject to arbitrary arrest and detention
AFP, October 12, 2016 — Several Western governments have called for the release of a Vietnamese activist jailed this week for “anti-state propaganda”, urging greater freedoms in the authoritarian nation criticised for silencing critics.
Rights activist and blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, more commonly known as Me Nam which means “Mother Mushroom”, was detained Monday as she visited a fellow dissident in jail in southern Nha Trang city.
Quynh, whose critical Facebook posts have included articles about civilians reportedly dying in police custody, was accused of distorting truth and history, defaming the Communist Party and provoking anti-
GENEVA / PHNOM PENH (7 October 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, will carry out an official visit to the country from 10 to 20 October 2016 to examine the general political situation and various aspects of discrimination.