Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Adhoc 5’ passed over for award




‘Adhoc 5’ passed over for award

Adhoc officials (from left) Lim Mony, Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha and Yi Soksan (grey hair, facing away) hold a press conference after their release on bail this year.
Adhoc officials (from left) Lim Mony, Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha and Yi Soksan (grey hair, facing away) hold a press conference after their release on bail this year. Yon Sineat

‘Adhoc 5’ passed over for award

Four staffers with rights organisation Adhoc and one National Election Committee official, collectively dubbed the “Adhoc 5”, did not win the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, a nomination they received during a 14-month stint in pre-trial detention in relation to a purported opposition sex scandal.

The five, who were released in late June, were in pre-trial detention for 427 days after they were charged with “bribery” while offering legal assistance to a Phnom Penh hairdresser allegedly romantically involved with Cambodia National Rescue Party President Kem Sokha. Despite their release, the case against them remains open.

The Adhoc staffers – Lim Mony, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Nay Vanda – and NEC Deputy Secretary-General Ny Chakrya were nominated in April, but none of the five could attend the awards show because of travel restrictions associated with their bail.

“This is not a regretful thing for us. This [nomination] was already giving value to Cambodia, and it was our honour that we received it,” Adhoc spokesman Soeung Sen Karuna said yesterday.

The award, which was announced last night in Geneva, ultimately went to Egyptian Mohamed Zaree, Egypt office director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies. Salvadoran LGBT activist Karla Avelar was also one of the three finalists.

The Adhoc 5 could not be reached yesterday. The annual awards have been called “the Nobel Prize for human rights”, and are adjudicated by a jury of 10 of the world’s leading human rights NGOs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • Vietnamese land-grabbers held

    Following a provincial court order, Ratanakkiri Military Police on April 16 arrested 12 Vietnamese nationals accused of crossing the border into Cambodia and illegally clearing forest land. The accused are now being detained at Phnom Svay prison in the province. Ratanakkiri military police commander Thav Yen told