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Cambodia Human Rights Report 2005

Human rights activists say Friday that human rights and democracy conditions in Cambodia deteriorated in 2005 compared to the previous years, due to the activists being sentenced to imprisonment and arrest warrants being issued against independent critics.

The allegations about the detetoriation of the human rights condition and lack of open democracy in Cambodia happen after three opposition party legislators have their parliamentary immunities suspended in February 2005.

Opposition Sam Rainsy party's (SRP) lawmaker, Cheam Channy was sentenced by military court to 7 years imprisonment for allegedly forming an illegal armed group, and SRP leader, Mr. Sam Rainsy, who fled to France, as a self-imposed exile, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, on defamation charges against Prime Minister Hun Sen and Prince Ranariddh, National Assembly's president.

There were also arrest warrants against human rights activists who criticize the additional border treaty which Prime Minister Hun Sen signed with Vietnam in October.

President of human rights group ADHOC, Thun Saray says that the human rights activists are concerned about the land grabbing, illegal logging, corruption, impunity culture and the court reform issues.

He says that the opposition party and the civil society officials join in with the government so that it will be successful in its strategy to reform the court system and stop the culture of impunity.