PHNOM PENH - Jailed radio broadcaster Mam Sonando is being considered for an award by the Ireland-based Front Line Defenders, which advocates for human rights defenders around the world.
Mam Sonando, whose Beehive Radio broadcasts programming by the Voice of America, Radio Free Asia and others, is serving a 20-year prison sentence on charges widely condemned as exaggerated, following critical remarks about Prime Minister Hun Sen.
He is being considered for the Human Rights Defender at Risk award alongside candidates from Kenya, Uzbekistan, Iran, Columbia and Mauritania.
“He has been selected for this honor because he devoted his life to helping the poor and the disenfranchised of Cambodia and peacefully standing up for their rights, working to challenge the climate of impunity that is prevalent in Cambodia,” said Jim Loughran, a spokesman for Front Line Defenders.
“It’s very important that he is on the short list, and it means that Cambodia is being watched in the world for human rights,” said Ou Virak, head of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights.