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Ou Virak

HRD, President
Cambodian Centre for Human Rights

I think all of us are born wanting to change the world and I think we need to keep that spirit alive

Ou Virak is a prominent human rights defender and President of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR).

The Cambodian authorities use legislation and the judicial system, and threats of arrest or legal action, to restrict free speech, jail government critics, and disperse workers, trade union representatives and farmers engaging in peaceful assembly. The authorities routinely forcibly and often violently disperse public protests. HRDs who work to promote and protect economic, social, and cultural rights are particularly at risk of persecution, and trade union leaders have been subjected to extra-judicial executions. Community activists defending the right to housing and protesting against land grabs and forced evictions have faced fabricated charges and jail terms. Journalists who criticise the government face serious charges, lengthy trials, imprisonment and violence.


Ou Virak