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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - US caucus seeks end to Licadho trial

US caucus seeks end to Licadho trial

THE Congressional Human Rights Caucus of the United States has sent a letter to Hun

Sen requesting that the pending trial of the two Licadho human rights workers be

dropped due to lack of evidence.

The letter, dated June 16 and signed by Tom Lantos and John Edward Porter, both members

of congress, comes just days before the two workers, Kim Sen and Meas Minear are

due to stand trail for their alleged role in the Sihanoukville toxic waste riots

last December.

The Caucus, a bipartisan working group on human rights comprising over 180 members

of the US House of Representatives, said in their letter:

"We urge you to take immediate action to dismiss all charges against these staffers

of ... Licadho. We understand that they are due to go on trial ... charged with incitement

- despite the total lack of evidence that any crime was committed."

Human rights groups have widely criticized the court for various procedural errors

that were made during the arrest of the men, and Jan 20, the Cambodian Court of Appeal

ruled that their arrests were unlawful, having been carried out without an arrest

warrant or sufficient evidence.

Rights groups have maintained all along that the two workers were informing demonstrators

of their rights, and were not, as accused, inciting demonstrations.

"These actions were clearly within their mandate and did not violate any law"

states the letter.

"Ending all attempts to prosecute them would clearly signal your government's

intention to uphold its commitments to respect basic human rights."



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