The Cambodian Human Rights Association (CHRA) opened a branch office Nov. 16 in the
compound of Kantha Ram pagoda in Kandal province.
Addressing the audience at the opening ceremony, Cambodian Human Rights Association
President Thun Saray said: "Our people were forced to bear all forms of suffering-they
are now very hungry for peace, safety, freedom and respect for human rights.
"Our association has no political tendency-its main objective is to reunite
the people," Thun said, adding that the right to self-determination was of fundamental
More than 10,000 people from all political parties have been enrolled as members
of the association, and 10 offices set up in provinces since it received the green
light earlier this year from the Supreme National Council and the State of Cambodia
The CHRA was originally founded by the former dissident Thun Saray with assistance
from non-government organizations and overseas Cambodians that support the country's
human rights movement.
Saray was imprisoned along with six other State of Cambodia officials for more than
a year for trying to start a pro-democracy party in 1989.
"You are not alone. There are people throughout the world standing behind you.
Human rights speak in one language," said Sarah Newhall of Private Agencies
Collaborating Together (PACT), a nonprofit agency with an office in Phnom Penh.