Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Drop ‘bogus’ trials: HRW

Drop ‘bogus’ trials: HRW

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Former CNRP activists convicted of leading an alleged ‘insurrection’ during 2014 protests arrive at court on April 23 for an appeal hearing. Pha Lina

Drop ‘bogus’ trials: HRW

Human Rights Watch called on Cambodian authorities to “quash baseless” insurrection charges facing 11 former CNRP activists, according to a press release issued on Tuesday, two days before a verdict is set to be handed down by the Appeal Court.

Brad Adams, Asia director at HRW, was highly critical of the actions taken by the government after the 2013 elections.

“The prosecution of 11 CNRP members was one of the first of many bogus cases brought against the opposition after the party nearly won the disputed 2013 elections,” he is quoted as saying in the report.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party apparently decided to lock up political opponents to stave off defeat at the ballot box,” he adds.

In April, the Appeal Court heard the case involving a 2013 CNRP-led protest that turned violent in a trial that lasted three days.

“Although the government has banned the political opposition from the July elections, Cambodian authorities have persisted with political trials of people who stood up to Hun Sen and the ruling party,” Adams said. “This case is particularly twisted because the people charged not only didn’t commit violence, but some actively tried to prevent it. The court’s ruling, in this case, sends a broader message to the international community that the future of peaceful public dissent in Cambodia is at stake.”

Chin Malin, spokesperson for Ministry of Justice, however, said the claims were an attack on the Cambodian leader and the ruling party.

“This is his tradition in accusing the government. What the NGO had done is not a ‘human rights mission’ anymore, but a revenge, an attack with personal vindictiveness on the leader because [the Human Rights Watch is] furious with the Cambodian leader and the ruling party,” Malin said.

He urged the NGO to take part in the proceedings by providing intelligent lawyers or additional evidence, if they want to help the activists facing charges.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Four-pillar approach in reopening of tourism: PM

    Cambodia is drawing up a four-strategy approach to promptly restore domestic and international tourism activity and put the industry on a transition pathway to a sustainable and inclusive model that is resistant to future crises, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. The prime minister made

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old