Monday, 01 September 2014

Human Rights

Likely Innocent, Two Men Returned to Prison for 2004 Murder

The court’s decision set off a new round of outrage from local and international rights groups and others in the international community.

An Appeals Court judge on Thursday, April 12, 2007, upheld the Phnom Penh Municipal Court's ruling in 2005, which sentenced Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun to 20 years each in jail for the 2004 shooting death of Chea Vichea, who headed Cambodia's Free TradeAn Appeals Court judge on Thursday, April 12, 2007, upheld the Phnom Penh Municipal Court's ruling in 2005, which sentenced Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun to 20 years each in jail for the 2004 shooting death of Chea Vichea, who headed Cambodia's Free Trade
x
An Appeals Court judge on Thursday, April 12, 2007, upheld the Phnom Penh Municipal Court's ruling in 2005, which sentenced Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun to 20 years each in jail for the 2004 shooting death of Chea Vichea, who headed Cambodia's Free Trade
An Appeals Court judge on Thursday, April 12, 2007, upheld the Phnom Penh Municipal Court's ruling in 2005, which sentenced Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun to 20 years each in jail for the 2004 shooting death of Chea Vichea, who headed Cambodia's Free Trade
Kong Sothanarith
In a surprise turn, the Appeals Court on Thursday sentenced two men widely believed innocent in the 2004 shooting of a labor activist to return to prison.
 
The two men, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, were released from prison in 2009 by the Supreme Court, which ordered the Appeals Court to rehear the case. They had been living freely since then, but they were taken before the court Thursday and to jail following the decision, each facing 20-year terms.
 
The court’s decision set off a new round of outrage from local and international rights groups and others in the international community.
 
Filmmaker Brad Cox, who produced a documentary on the murder case called “Who Killed Chea Vichea,” called the decision “an absolute disgrace” in a Facebook post on Thursday.
 
“The incarceration of activist Mom Sonando, the killing of environmentalist Chut Wutty, the re-imprisonment of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun… When will our diplomats pull their thumbs out of their [expletive] and do their jobs?” he wrote. “They call themselves champions of human rights, freedom of speech and the rule of law and yet they consistently look the other way when they’re needed most. Shame on the Cambodian government for this travesty of justice and shame on us for allowing it to happen over and over and over again.”
 
The police and judiciary have been widely condemned for prosecuting the men for killing popular labor activist Chea Vichea. The men were found guilty despite a paucity of evidence and contrary to the testimony of key witnesses, in what many believe was a set up for the murder of a popular activist.
 
“Civil society still considers these two men as plastic killers,” Am Sam Ath, a leading investigator for the rights group Licadho, said Thursday, using the Cambodian idiom for scapegoat.
 
Not only was the ruling unfair for the two men, but “this is injustice for Chea Vichea.” He said. “His family still cannot find the real killers.”
 
Lawyers said they would immediately appeal the decision, which was made by the court judge despite favorable concluding remarks from the court prosecutor.
 
“The prosecutor general said there is not sufficient evidence to lay any charges, but the judge gave a different decision,” Chum Sovannaly, the defense attorney for Born Samnang, told reporters outside the court on Thursday. “Based on the prosecutor’s concluding statement, [my client] should be free.”
 
The men, who were re-arrested after Thursday’s decision, had a brief chance to remark to reporters before they were carried away.
 
Sok Sam Oeun called the decision “real injustice.” And Born Samnang made a plea to the ghost of the former king, Norodom Sihanouk, who when he was alive appealed for their release.
 
“King Father always said that Born Samnang was innocent,” he said, “but now, Your Majesty, they are bringing me back to prison.”
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Will Continue Supporting Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Diplomat Saysi
X
28 August 2014
The US will continue its support for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, a senior US diplomat says. In an interview with VOA Khmer in Phnom Penh, Scot Marciel, the top diplomat for Asia and Pacific at the US State Department, said the tribunal can serve as an example to Cambodians and the world. “We are very pleased to be abel to contribute to this tribunal, and we certainly welcome the results of the recent case,” Marciel said, referring to recent life sentences for aging leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. (Sok Khemara, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)i
X
25 August 2014
You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)

You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.
Video

Video Scratch Someone's Back (Movie: Batman Begins)

You can say, "Yeah sure, I can get you a job at CNN easily. Now, if 'YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I'LL SCRATCH YOURS'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Wild Goose Chase (Movie: Inside Man)

You can say, "The policeman was sent on a 'wild goose chase' to find the killer. All the clues that were given to him turned out to be false." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Let Bygones Be Bygones (Movie: The Social Network)

You can say, "I know he hurt you, he gave up on you, and that broke your heart. But that's the past, you have to 'let bygones be bygones." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
See more >>>