Cambodia: pro-democacy defender convicted to two-year imprisonment in absentia (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Jun 19, 2020
- Event Description
Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Friday convicted and sentenced in absentia the activist Kong Raiya to two years in prison. However, he will only serve four months and 18 days. This is over the sale of t-shirts bearing the images and quotes of slain political analyst Kem Ley in July last year. Raiya has already served more than four months in pre-trial detention.
Judge Ouk Reth Kunthea said Raiya, 28, was charged with �incitement to commit a felony and committing a misdemeanor� under Articles 494, 495 and 88 of the Criminal Code.
�The court convicts and sentences Kong Raiya to two years in prison. But he will only serve four months and 18 days prison time. The rest of his sentence will be suspended. He is now out on bail,� Judge Kunthea said.
Raiya was arrested on July 9 last year after he urged activists to participate in marking the death anniversary of Mr Ley which was banned by City Hall. He also put up t-shirts for sale on Facebook.
On the t-shirts Raiya wrote �If you do nothing, you will be victimised. It is just not your turn yet,� quoting Mr Ley.
He was released on bail from Prey Sar prison on November 29 last year.
Mr Raiya could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Mr Sam Sokong, Raiya�s lawyer, said yesterday the judgment was unjust because his client only wanted to sell t-shirts, not call for a change of government.
He said his client did not incite anyone to commit a crime. He only printed Mr Ley�s quotes and portrait on t-shirts based on freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Right to liberty and security
- Pro-democracy activist
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 19 June 2020, Kong Raiya, pro-democacy defender, was convicted to two-year imprisonment in absentia by the Municipal Court of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.