Backlash as court ruling wipes out CNRP

Source: Khmer Times

Court rules against CNRP, orders party closed and bans 118 members from politics for five years. KT/Mai Vireak

The Supreme Court yesterday dissolved the opposition CNRP on treason charges in a ruling condemned by rights groups as the death of democracy in the country.

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RFA reporters face espionage charges

Source: Khmer Times

Yeang Sothearin, centre, is led away. The charges he and his colleague face carry long jail terms. KT/Mai Vireak

Two former Radio Free Asia reporters who were arrested on Tuesday now face spying charges, which carry a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

Phnom Penh deputy municipal police chief Sim Vuthy said police found evidence related to the arrest and sent it to court on Wednesday.

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Land rights organisation in Lango limbo

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Protesters demonstrate against land rights NGO Equitable Cambodia in Phnom Penh in September. The Ministry of Interior cited their complaints in suspending the organisation. Photo supplied

More than a month after the announcement of its ostensibly 30-day suspension, land rights organisation Equitable Cambodia remains stuck in limbo, with the Ministry of Interior saying the NGO must wait for the ministry’s approval to reopen.
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Families protest as firm blocks access to homes

Source: Khmer Times

Twenty families have been affected by the construction of the gate. Supplied

Twenty families in Svay Rieng province yesterday protested to demand a private company stop blocking access to their homes.

The residents of Svay Rieng town’s Svay Ter commune said a company named Chilo Special Economic Zone had built a gate blocking access to the road that leads to their properties.   

Sim Vanna , 43, said villagers wanted local authorities to intervene and force the company to allow residents access to the road as usual.

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Former RFA reporters arrested

Source: Khmer times

Former Radio Free Asia bureau chief Yeang Sothearin is being detained. KT/Mai Vireak

Police arrested two former reporters with US-based Radio Free Asia on Tuesday over their installation of broadcasting equipment to allegedly report back to the agency’s office without permission from the government.

Former RFA video editor Uon Chhin and Yeang Sothearin, bureau chief of the Khmer service in Phnom Penh, were arrested at the Marady Hotel, where they had rented a room to set up broadcasting instruments illegally, according to deputy governor of Meanchey district Dy Rath Khemrun.

On September 12, RFA shut its Phnom Penh office after nearly 20 years of operation, citing a crackdown on free press by the government as the reason.

The Information Ministry had earlier shut down dozens of radio stations broadcasting news from RFA and slapped the Cambodia Daily newspaper with a $6 million back tax bill, leading to its closure as well.

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Free Mother Nature activists, say NGOs

Source: Khmer Times

One of the activists detained in September. Supplied

Twenty-two NGOs released a joint statement yesterday demanding the release of two activists detained by Koh Kong Provincial Court after recording a video of sand dredging.

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NGOs see ‘opportunity’ for pressure at summit

Source: Phnom Penh Post

Southeast Asian leaders join hands as they pose for a photograph at the opening ceremony at Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders’ summit in Manila in April this year. Mark R. Cristino/AFP

Human rights organisations are calling on states to take the upcoming Asean summit on Sunday as an opportunity to pressure Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to reverse what they characterise as the country’s ongoing backslide into authoritarianism.

According to a press release, Prime Minister Hun Sen will attend several Asean meetings between Sunday and Tuesday, and will meet the prime ministers of Australia, India, China and Russia and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
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