Two more Cambodians sought justice from US authorities ahead of Hillary Clinton’s visit yesterday as the families of two men implicated in a 2009 bomb plot submitted letters to the US embassy in Phnom Penh asking for intervention after their appeals had languished for nearly two years.
In the letter, Soam Sochea, wife of Chea Kimyan, and Phlong Livann, wife of Chea Vannara, asked US ambassador William Todd to help secure the release of their husbands, who they say were wrongfully convicted for their involvement in a failed bombing of the Cambodian-Vietnamese Friendship Monument.
Livanna said that she had come to the US embassy because she was out of options after her husband’s 2010 appeal went unexamined, and complaints filed with NGOs elicited no response.
“The court decided to sentence my husband to 20 years in jail without any evidence,” she said. “Only the embassy can intervene to free my husband.”
Kimyan, Vannara and two other alleged members of the anti-government Khmer National Unity Front — or Tiger Head Movement — were convicted in 2010 of planning to bomb the Ministry of National Defence and the television station TV3.
Chan Soveth, a senior investigator for the rights group Adhoc, called the court’s initial decision “unfair” and said the appellate court should look into the matter.
“The court should investigate the case more seriously,” he said.
US embassy officials could not be reached for comment.
To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at firstname.lastname@example.org