A growing chorus of national and international human rights groups are criticizing
perceived illegal and unfair trial procedures in the June 11-20 terrorism trial of
32 suspected members of the Cambodian Freedom Fighters (CFF).
The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), a coalition of 18 local NGOs,
released a press statement dated June 22 stating they were "deeply concerned"
about the possible verdicts in the case.
"The CHRAC believes the suspects have not been given a fair trial as guaranteed
by the Cambodian Constitution, national law and international conventions,"
the group stated.
The 32 accused face charges of terrorism, conspiracy and belonging to an armed group
for their alleged involvement in street fighting in Phnom Penh on Nov 24, 2000.
CHRAC listed legal irregulaties including arrest without warrant, restrictions on
access to legal counsel, violations of pre-trial detention limitations and "...an
intimidating [court] atmosphere which included heavily-armed police, soldiers and
police officers with dogs."
The CHRAC statement comes two days after similar protests from Amnesty International,
Human Rights Watch and the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights."
Verdicts in the cases of the 32 CFF suspects are scheduled to be handed down today,