Sam Rainsy Party MPs Seek US Intervention for Release of 15 Human Rights Defenders of Beung Kak Lake
MP, Mu Sochua will meet with State Department officials and members of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Committee of the US Congress on 6June, 2012 to raise concern for the deteriorating human rights conditions inside Cambodia particularly regarding recent human rights abuses against women and girls.
FEBRURARY 19, 2012 Bavet Town governor, Chhouk Bandith, opened fire on 6000 protestors at a garment worker demonstration in his town in Northern Cambodia. Three young women were shot and injured. Witnesses claim that Bandith was assisted in his escape from the scene by police vehicles. The governor later confessed to his crime, but was never arrested. On May 14, 2012, Bandith was charged with unintentional injuries and was demoted to a lower position.
MAY 16, 2012 1000 military police and a military helicopter violently stormed a village in the northern province of Kratie during a forced eviction. Forces opened fire on residents and killed an innocent 14-year-old girl. Villagers were brutally attacked by the military forces, and a group of women were handcuffed, stripped naked, and made to stand for hours under the sun.
MAY 22, 2012 During a peaceful demonstration in Phnom Penhs Boeung Kak Lake community, thirteen women human rights defenders were violently arrested and detained at the municipal police headquarters for two nights. On May 24, 2012, the women were taken to an illegal summary trial without their defense lawyers. The lawyers requests to delay for preparation, for case files and evidence, and to bring witnesses to the stand were also denied. In less than 3 hours all thirteen women were convicted and sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison. Since then, one woman received a 1 and a half year suspended sentence, and another five have received 6 months suspended sentences out of the initial 2.5 years.
As a result of violence against women, including armed and military force by private companies against citizens, women’s human rights are continually violated in a nation that claims to be democratic and free.
Sam Rainsy Party MPs, are seeking for:
1. Ensure the immediate release of all thirteen women imprisoned and two witnesses for defending their land rights;
2. Temporarily suspension of US military aid to Cambodia;
3. Call for an end to the harassment of human rights defenders in Cambodia and ensure that peaceful protests can take place without fear of arrest, intimidation or violence.
4. Bring an end to forced and violent evictions of Cambodian citizens from their homes and land.