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Cambodia-UPDATE: Criminal complaint against human rights defender Mr Soum Chankea dropped
On 8 May 2012, Ms Sokumtheary Yin issued a warrant to drop the criminal complaint against Mr Soum Chankea, land rights and human rights defender and Banteay Meachey Provincial Coordinator for the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association.
On 9 February 2012, a summons was issued against the human rights defender by the Court to investigate whether a complaint made against him by Mr Oum Socheath, Director of Banteay Meanchay branch of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, fell under Article 311 of the Penal Code, which is punishable by one month to one year imprisonment and a fine of between 100,000 (€ 19) to 2 million Riels (€ 374).
The summons was related to ADHOC's intervention in the case of two incidents of reported sexual harassment carried out by Oum Socheath in November 2011. The victim of the assault lodged a complaint with the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association(ADHOC), which provided her with legal advice and helped her file a complaint with the police, urging them and the Prosecutor's office to take action and open an investigation into the case.
While Front Line Defenders welcomes the dropping of the criminal complaint against Soum Chankea, it believes that the summoning of Soum Chankea for questioning was directly related to his work in the defence of human rights in Cambodia, in particular his work in assisting victims of human rights violations in Banteay Meanchay.
For more information, please see Front Line Defender's original appeal on this case dated 24 February 2012: https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/17524.
You can find additional information on the situation for human rights Defenders in Cambodia. HERE