Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Petitions for Mam Sonando release hit embassies

Petitions for Mam Sonando release hit embassies

Petitions for Mam Sonando release hit embassies

120731_06

Khoun Phannavy (C), deputy general director of the Association of Democrats, speaks to reporters outside the US Embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

Khoun Phannavy (C), deputy general director of the Association of Democrats, speaks to reporters outside the US Embassy in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Heng Chivoan/Phnom Penh Post

The Association of Democrats claims to have secured more than 45,000 thumbprints for petitions submitted to foreign embassies yesterday demanding the release of their arrested president, Mam Sonando.

Sonando, an outspoken government critic who disseminated his views on-air as director of the Beehive radio station, was arrested on July 15 in connection with a so-called secessionist plot months earlier.

The deputy general director of the Association of Democrats, Khoun Phannavy, said yesterday 46,000 thumbprints had been collected for petitions submitted to embassies including those for the US, France, Japan, Singapore, Germany, Thailand and Australia.

“The reason why we do this is that we found that the president did not do anything wrong. He was not involved in the accusation of being behind an autonomous area,” she said.

On May 16, a large government security force stormed a village in Kratie province and opened fired on residents, killing a 14-year-old girl in what the government claimed was a crackdown on a secessionist movement but community leaders said was a forced eviction.

There has been no investigation into the killing of the girl, which took place at Pro Ma village in Chhlong district’s Kampong Damrei commune.

The US, French and other embassies could not be reached for comment.

Sonando’s lawyer and executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, Sok Sam Oeun, said he would submit a letter requesting Phnom Penh Municipal Court release his client from Prey Sar prison because of his ailing health.

“If the court declines to release my client on bail, I have two choices. I can file an appeal, [and if they reject it] in one month more, I will do it again,” he said.

Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has also been meeting union bosses from 35 factories to organise a campaign to push for Sonando’s release.

To contact the reporter on this story: May Titthara at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Ethnic group ‘disappointed’ to be denied French visas to attend court

    Eleven people at the centre of a case involving seven indigenous Bunong villages in Mondulkiri province pursuing legal action in France have expressed disappointment after the French embassy in Phnom Penh denied their visa applications to attend court. A press release said the 11 included a

  • Cambodia nabs 12th place in best retirement destinations

    Cambodia is an expatriate hotspot for those dreaming of living a more luxurious lifestyle at an affordable cost, according to International Living’s Annual Global Retirement Index 2019. For the fourth year in a row, Cambodia took the top spot in the Cost of Living category.

  • EU starts EBA withdrawal

    The EU on Monday announced that it has begun the 18-month process of withdrawing the Kingdom’s access to its preferential Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement over “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”. However, the Garment Manufacturers Association of Cambodia (GMAC) said

  • PM: War result of foreign meddling

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Sunday that Cambodia’s recent history of conflict was caused by foreign interference. “The wars that happened were caused by provocation, incitement, support, smearing and interference from foreign powers, and the group of ignorant people who pushed Cambodia to