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Vigil to end impunity against journalists in Cambodia 

2013-11-21 - CLEC

Monks pray for the dead of journailists and to end impunity at Olympic Stadium during the International Day to End Impunity.

November 21, 2013 - On November 23rd, 2013, the international community will mark the Third International Day to End Impunity. In Cambodia, impunity continues to be one of the greatest obstacles to strengthening the rule of law and allowing citizens of the country to receive Justice. We are inviting reporters, media workers and victims who have been denied justice as a result of impunity to express their solidarity by joining together where journalist Khim Sambo was killed in 2008 and call the government to provide Justice.

Recent reports have documented excessive use of armed force and escalating violence to silence activists and media, endangering Cambodian citizens' right to freedom of expression as well as their lives in some cases. This vigil is an opportunity to denounce the prevailing culture of impunity Cambodia and call for its end. It also serves to remember and honor the memories of all journalists killed because they believed in the purpose and mission of journalism; to raise awareness about the failure of the government to bring the killers to justice; and to pledge further actions to find ways of making journalism safer. 

"Impunity defines Cambodia today; guilty officials walk free while innocent human rights activists and journalists are harassed, threatened and even murdered for speaking out. These cases of abuse against activists and journalists are regularly left unsolved as the authorities don't bother to investigate". Ms. Ramana Sorn, Coordinator of the CCHR Cambodian Freedom of Expression Project. 

"In most of these cases, none of the perpetrator has been brought to Justice. There have been very little efforts from the authorities to do so and families are still waiting for Justice. This culture of impunity results in a climate of complete impunity for those who wish to use violence to silence critical voices. This is deeply destructive for the Cambodian people and their right to be informed. It also gives rise to self-censorship among journalists and suppression of free speech. Crimes against journalists should be solved and harassment stopped". Mr. Pa Ngoun Teang, Executive Director of CCIM.

"So far, Cambodia has failed to conclude its chapter about the Khmer Rouge history and its legacy. Violence and impunity still exist in Cambodia. The current and future leaders of the country must learn from our past experience and refrain from violating human rights. Impunity needs to stop to avoid History to repeat itself".  Mr. Yeng Virak, Executive Director of the Community Legal Education Center. 

Radio Voice of Democracy will host a special radio show from 2 PM to 3 PM on November 21st to debate about the issue of impunity with the wife of Mr. Heng Serei Oudom and Licadho as guest speakers. It will be available in Phnom Penh on 106.5 FM and Siem Reap on 95.5 FM.


For more information, please contact:

  • The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) - Contact: Ms. Ramana Sorn (+855 (0)17. 655591 / ramana.sorn@cchrcambodia.org)
  • The Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM) - Contact: Mr. Nop Vy (+ 855 (0) 60 405 999 / + 855 (0)12 519 261 / nopvy@vodhotnews.com)
  • The Community Legal Education Center (CLEC) - Contact: Mr. Dythe Hoya (+855 (0) 66 777 015 /dythehoya@clec.org.kh)
  • The Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO) - Mr. Am Sam Ath (+855 (0) 12 327 770 / mon1@licadho-cambodia.org)


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