My name is Ny Chakrya and I am Head of the Human Rights Section of ADHOC – the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association.
Active human rights defenders in Cambodia are threatened because their activities are very effective and are counter to the interests of some people in power and some Mafia businessmen. These threats to human rights defenders include:
Using the state armed forces to torture –
- On 2 January 2015, the Cambodia Government used the military to crack down on a peaceful demonstration of factory workers. The army arrested 21 people, detained and tortured them and then detained the 21 people in prison.
- On 3 January 2015, approximately 5,000 polices and military officers cracked down on another peaceful demonstration. This time seven factory workers were killed and 15 others were arrested and tortured.
The Cambodia Government also uses the lack of an independent court system to threaten human rights defenders –
- In 2014, approximately 100 people were arrested and detained because they led the victims of land disputes to file complaints against powerful people and private companies.
- In 2013, Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened me because I had criticised him about a land dispute.
- In 2015, two people (one investigation judge and one prosecutor in the primary Siem Reap court) filed a complaint against me, because I filed a complaint to the Supreme Council Minister, the Ministry of Justice and the Appeal court. ADHOC investigations had revealed that that 2 people arrested and detained as victims of land dispute in Siem Reap, their arrests had been illegal.
To finish I would like to thank Front Line Defenders for intervening very quickly in my case with the Cambodia Government and the other international human rights organisations who also intervened.
Active human rights defenders in Cambodia are threatened because their activities are very effective and are counter to the interests of some people in power.