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CAMBODIA NEWS - OPCC ALARMED AT DETENTION OF MAM SONANDO

 

 

The government has linked the most serious charge that of insurrection to the violent eviction of villagers in Kratie province earlier this year during which a 14- year-old girl was shot dead by the authorities

 

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - ( Overseas Press Club of Cambodia)

Wednesday July 18, 2012

The detention of independent radio station owner Mam Sonando and his subsequent charging with an array of serious crimes, including insurrection, looks to be an alarming escalation in actions against the media and free speech. The government has linked the most serious charge that of insurrection to the violent eviction of villagers in Kratie province earlier this year during which a 14- year-old girl was shot dead by the authorities.

The allegation that the villagers were trying to secede has been widely ridiculed as a fabrication, and there is consequently little reason to see the related charge against Mam Sonando in any other light. Furthermore, the authorities have offered no evidence to substantiate any of the other charges against Mam Sonando, who is also the president of local NGO the Association of Democrats.

The OPCC is deeply concerned that the arrest, detention and charging of 71-year-old Mam Sonando with offences that could see him jailed for decades looks to be a case of cracking down on the media and freedom of expression, and notes that this comes during the run-up to the 2013 general election.

The OPCC urges the government of Cambodia, which is the current ASEAN chair and a prospective member of the United Nations Security Council for 2013-14, to release Mam Sonando with immediate effect.


ANOTHER OPCC REPORT

CAMBODIA NEWS - OPCC CONDEMNS INTIMIDATION BY CAMBODIAN AUTHORITIES- April 2012
The shooting that took the lives of Mr Wutty and a military policeman. Cambodian journalist Phorn Bopha and her Canadian colleague Olesia Plokhii, who were investigating reports of illegal logging


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