A LETTER FROM PREY SAR PRISON

FREEDOM 2

REBUILDING A DIVIDED NATION

I am free tonight and i thank all who have poured out all the support and took action for my release and the release of my other 7 colleagues.

This letter was drafted while in prison last night. The power went off and the rain drops entered our cell.

i am now catching up on what i missed in the past 7 days while in pre-trial detention.

The Phnom Penh Post on 16 July, 2014

“Tables Violently Turn
” is the front page headline with a half=page picture of a security guard with a bloody head. He is down on the ground. He is in pain. I feel his pain. His blood is of Khmer blood, same as mine. I will continue to call for peaceful protest and will continue to condemn violence.

Cambodia must stop being a divided nation. We must find peaceful solutions for real democracy, respect for human rights, for freedoms and for liberties of our citizens. Our grand mission is to build national reconciliation and prosperity that is sustainable and that does not further widen the haves from the have nots.

In Prey Sar notorious prison in the outskirts of Phnom Penh, I shared my life behind bars with five hundred other women who open my eyes to a justice system that is rotten to the core. I heard women cry out for justice, even if they recognize the crime they committed. Each and everyone of them had to pay those in the justice system who set the price tag for each step of the court process. It all begins at the police station at the time of the arrest, with or without court order, to paying for a small privilege in Prey Sar Prison. many remain in pre-trial detention over the legal time limit.

There is no peace without justice. There is no human rights without freedoms of speech and of assembly.

My campaign since April to “free, Freedom Park” lead to violence to our arrest and to a high level summit to end the 12-month political deadlock. Today the top leaders from the ruling party and the opposition reached an agreement based upholding national interest. A deal is made that has allowed the 55 Cambodia National Rescue Party to claim our seats in parliament in the next few days.

A new chance to build true democracy for the Cambodian people is opening up once again. let us not forget that by signing the deal the top leaders have committed to make it known to the nation that they can be held responsible and accountable to their acts. the work has just begun. The road to peace is still far ahead.

Much more is to be done to build democratic governance.Let us begin with checks and balances and with true reforms. Our obligation to the people is their fair share of power, therefore building a strong and dynamic civil society is a crucial part of our mission We must learn to live side by side and to accept the differences rather then to paint each other with colors. We must end the culture of impunity, corruption, nepotism, clientelism and solidly establish rule of law.

I am willing to accept the out-pouring sense of “betrayal” by our supporters when they heard the result of the negotiation. They misunderstood that CNRP is now “sleeping with the devil?’

We must not forget that we have chosen a very long and winding road and we must agree to disagree and we must learn the rules of noon-violence training to guaranty non-violence .

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