Cambodia: three NGO workers charged over the weekend (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Sep 6, 2020
- Event Description
Authorities on Sunday charged three youth environmental activists with incitement and ordered them to pre-trial detention over the trio�s peaceful activism calling attention to the government�s filling in of Phnom Penh�s Boeung Tamok lake.
The three environmental activists - Thun Ratha, a 28-year-old man, Long Kunthea, a 22-year-old woman, and Phuong Keorasmey, a 19-year-old woman � are members of the Mother Nature Cambodia movement and were charged on Sunday over their organising of a planned peaceful march from Wat Phnom to Prime Minister Hun Sen�s house by Kunthea to express her concerns regarding the filling and construction inside Boeung Tamok.
They were arrested on Friday, interviewed by the prosecutor and investigating judge at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court over the weekend and charged on Sunday with �incitement to commit a felony or cause social unrest� under Articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code, which carries a prison sentence of between six months and two years as well as a fine of up to 4 million riel. Ratha was sent to pre-trial detention in Correctional Centre 1, and Kunthea and Keorasmey were sent to Correctional Centre 2.
In a separate case, authorities on Sunday also arrested two members of the Active Citizens for Justice youth movement, which had organised a gathering at Freedom Park next week to call for the release of imprisoned union leader Rong Chhun.
Venerable Koet Saray, an ordained Buddhist monk, and Mean Prommony, the vice-president of the Khmer Student Intelligent League Association, were arrested in Phnom Penh over their plans to gather at Phnom Penh�s Freedom Park and call for the release of union leader Rong Chhun. Chhun was arrested in late July and charged with incitement over remarks he made to a radio station about the Cambodia-Vietnam border.
Phnom Penh Municipal Hall had previously issued a statement prohibiting the planned gathering, claiming organisers would not be able to control the number of attendees and accusing them of �inciting� members of the public to protest. The Active Citizens for Justice announced on Saturday that they would go forward with their planned gathering between September 7 and September 15.
With the arrest of Venerable Koet Saray and Mean Prommony, a total of eight people have been arrested for organising or participating in peaceful demonstrations calling for the release of Rong Chhun. More than 142 civil society groups have called on the government to release Chhun and drop all charges against him.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Right to liberty and security
- Environmental rights defender
- NGO staff
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On 6 September 2020, three arrested staff of the NGO Mother Nature were sentenced to imprisonment on incitement charges for peacefully calling Government attention on an environmental issue by a Municipal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.