Cambodia

Beehive Radio Case Moves to Appeals Court

Mam Sonando was arrested in July, at which time another alleged secessionist, Bun Ratha, fled.

Cambodian supporters of Mam Sonando, one of Cambodia’s most prominent human rights defenders, protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Some 300 supporters gathered to demand the release of local radio station owner Mam Sonando, who is accused of leading a secession.Cambodian supporters of Mam Sonando, one of Cambodia’s most prominent human rights defenders, protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Some 300 supporters gathered to demand the release of local radio station owner Mam Sonando, who is accused of leading a secession.
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Cambodian supporters of Mam Sonando, one of Cambodia’s most prominent human rights defenders, protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Some 300 supporters gathered to demand the release of local radio station owner Mam Sonando, who is accused of leading a secession.
Cambodian supporters of Mam Sonando, one of Cambodia’s most prominent human rights defenders, protest in front of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Oct. 1, 2012. Some 300 supporters gathered to demand the release of local radio station owner Mam Sonando, who is accused of leading a secession.
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Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - The case against Beehive Radio owner Mam Sonando has been moved to the Appeals Court Friday, a month after he was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he fomented a secessionist movement in Kratie province and less than a week after US President Barack Obama voiced US concern about his detention.

Defense attorney Sar Sovann said the case was moved to the Appeals Court on Thursday, but no hearing date has been set.

Next week he will go to the court and insist on a date, he told VOA Khmer.

The US has said it is concerned the case was politically motivated, and rights groups say Mam Sonando, one of the few independent broadcasters in the country, was convicted on thin evidence. Obama specifically said he was concerned about the case, US officials said this week.

Cambodian officials say Hun Sen told the president that Beehive Radio, which airs programming from the Voice of America and Radio Free Asia, among others, continues to broadcast and that Mam Sonando’s case is a matter for the courts.

Mam Sonando was arrested in July, at which time another alleged secessionist, Bun Ratha, fled. He remains at large, but was given 30 years in absentia. Three other suspects were given sentences between 10 months and three years.
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