Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Human Rights

Svay Rieng Court’s Failure Highlights Flawed System, Rights Workers Say

More than nine months after the former governor of Bavet town allegedly shot three bystanders during a labor strike, the authorities have failed to arrest or bring him to court.

An unidentified garment worker lying on a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds to her back. Courtesy of Licadho. An unidentified garment worker lying on a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds to her back. Courtesy of Licadho.
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An unidentified garment worker lying on a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds to her back. Courtesy of Licadho.
An unidentified garment worker lying on a hospital bed with multiple gunshot wounds to her back. Courtesy of Licadho.
Heng ReaksmeyVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - More than nine months after the former governor of Bavet town allegedly shot three bystanders during a labor strike, the authorities have failed to arrest or bring him to court.
 
That’s a big difference from the quick action the courts have been able to take when labor leaders or other government critics are brought in, rights advocates say.
 
Chhouk Bandith, who was sacked as governor of the town, the capital of Svay Rieng province, after the incident, remains at large. He is accused of firing a weapon at a crowd of protesters earlier this year, injuring three women.
 
Svay Rieng provincial court president Pich Chhert declined to comment Tuesday, saying he was on public holiday.
 
However, rights groups say the case highlights the disparities of a court system viewed by most Cambodians as biased, corrupt and ineffective.
 
“This case shows the impunity in Cambodia, and that the courts are under the pressure of politicians,” said Am Sam Ath, lead investigator for the rights group Licahdo.
 
The courts were fast in indicting Mam Sonando, the owner of Beehive Radio, and sentencing him to 20 years in prison, on secession charges that rights workers say have little evidence, following criticisms of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The courts also quickly sentenced three land rights activists to jail terms after the women were charged with inciting violence in a Phnom Penh land protest.
 
Chhin Lida, a lawyer for the three women wounded in the Bavet shooting, said the courts have a right to postpone the hearing, but he said they should allow the case to proceed “to find justice for the victims.”
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US To Continue Regular Talks on South China Sea, Diplomat Saysi
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29 August 2014
A senior US diplomat says the US will continue to have discussions with claimants in the South China Sea dispute. In an interview with VOA Khmer, Scot Marciel, the State Department’s top diplomat for Asia and the Pacific, said “regular conversations” will help reduce regional tensions over the sea. “The whole world has an interest in a peaceful South China Sea and in seeing these disputes resolved peacefully and diplomatically,” he said in an interview in Phnom Penh. “So we’ll continue to make that point.” (Sok Khemara, Phnom Penh)

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Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)i
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25 August 2014
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Video Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)

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