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Kem Sokha's Wife Visits Her Husband in Jail

Cambodian Center for Human Rights' (CCHR) president's wife on Monday goes to visit her husband, Mr. Kem Sokha, who was arrested and put in Prey Sar prison, on Saturday.

She was allowed to see him for 30 minutes. She brought him a mosquito net, a net, a blanket and some foods.

Mr. Kem was considered a democracy leader. He was arrested along with the Community Legal Education Center's president Yen Vireak on charges of defaming and insulting the government in connection with a banner which the people display in CCHR's stand during the Human Rights Day on December 10, at the Olympic stadium.

After seeing her husband, Ms. Tae Chan Mano says that the charge was illegal, and that he did nothing wrong.

She says it was the Human Rights Day, and that he was not responsible for the event at his stand, because he was sick. She says that the activities conducted previously were purely related to human rights, and democracy, that he did not insult anybody.

He told his wife to tell the people he misses them very much and is thinking about the day he can participate in the opinion forum in Siem Reap province and the plans in other provinces which are being postponed.

She says the CCHR is still operating for democracy and the nation not to grab power. Mr. Ou Vireak, CCHR's spokesman says that according to democratic countries, whatever the people wrote on banners are pure expression of opinions provided by law. If the government does not like them, it can respond and correct the people's views so they can correct them and apologize.

There were about 10,000 people and at least 63 NGOs participating the Human Rights Day. The banner which made the government upset was one written in a pen which was barely legible criticizing the government of corruption, and land ceding, and the CCHR does not know who wrote it.

The authority saw it and told the committee responsible for the event at the stand to take it down. The committee apologized for being negligent.

The Cambodian Human Rights Association ADHOC's president for investigation Ly Chariya praises the government for its will to cooperate with NGOs to make the Human Rights Day a success, but he says that it should be tolerant.

Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith and the Ministry of Interior's spokesman Khieu Sopheak cannot be reached for comment.

Prime Minister Hun Sen's senior adviser Om Yentieng declines to comment. Mr. Kem Sokha is confined in the same cell with 5 inmates convicted to human trafficking.

His lawyer and other human rights activists were not allowed to visit him yet.