Cambodia: detained youth convicted on incitement charges (Update)Event
- Initial Date
- Oct 26, 2021
- Event Description
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court today sentenced 10 currently detained political, social and youth activists to 20 months in prison and fined them 2 million riel each ($500) over charges of incitement under Articles 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code. They each must serve from 14 to 15 months in prison, with the remainder of their sentences suspended. The 10 activists, already detained for over one year, are each due to be released from prison in November 2021, however they were placed under probation for two additional years, requiring them to alert the court if they move, change jobs or want to leave the country, among other conditions. Four additional individuals were also sentenced in absentia.
The sentenced social and youth activists, many of whom were part of the Khmer Thavrak movement, include Chhoeun Daravy, Hun Vannak, Mean Prummony, Koet Saray, Tha Lavy, Moung Sopheak, and Eng Malai. Daravy and Vannak were each sentenced to serve 15 months in prison, while the others must serve 14 months. They were arrested in August and September 2020 in relation to their peaceful gatherings around the court to call for the release of jailed union leader Rong Chhun, who remains in prison after being convicted of incitement on 18 August 2021.
The trial mostly consisted of the activists being asked if they had obtained prior permission to gather, and if they had someone from outside the country encouraging or paying them to engage in the peaceful calls for Rong Chhun’s release. In their closing statements, many of the activists noted that they had only engaged in peaceful demonstrations, that the conditions in Cambodia’s overcrowded prisons were difficult, and that the trial lacked justice.
Three other detained individuals - Chum Puthy, Chhuo Pheng, and Kong Sam An - were also charged in the same case file and sentenced. The three are former activists or members of the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). Chum Puthy and Chhuo Pheng must each serve 15 months in prison, while Kong Sam An will serve 14 months. In addition, four individuals were charged in absentia, including Seng Meng Bunrong, Ho Vann, Ou Chanrith, and Kong Saphea. Meng Bunrong was found guilty of incitement, while the three others were found guilty of instigating incitement under Articles 28, 494 and 495 of the Criminal Code. They were each sentenced to two years in prison, as well as handed fines of 4 million riel each ($1,000). Charges against Hong Lim were dropped. Arrest warrants have been issued for the four who were convicted in absentia.
- Impact of Event
- Gender of HRD
- (Arbitrary) Arrest and Detention
- Judicial Harassment
- Rights Concerned
- Freedom of assembly
- Freedom of association
- Right to liberty and security
- Environmental rights defender
- Monitoring Status
- Event Location
- Event Location
- Summary for Publications
On26 October 2021, 7 youth and environmental defenders held in pre-trial detention were convicted to 14 to 15 month-imprisonment on incitement charges for organising peaceful demonstration in 2020 by a court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.