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On World Day of Social Justice, Citizen Journalist Remains in Detention 

2014-02-19 - CLEC

Theng Savoeun, Human Rights Defender and Citizen Journalist.

February 20, 2014 is the annual World Day of Social Justice instituted by the United Nations to promote equal economic, political and social rights and opportunities to all. The day is dedicated to showing support for international efforts toward poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all. 

In Cambodia, the Day of Social Justice comes at a time where citizens, workers and activists alike are being denied their basic human rights, often under extremely violent circumstances. In December 2013, garment workers went on strike to demand a wage increase to $160 a month. On January 2-3, 2014, various armed forces staged a violent crackdown which led to the death of at least four workers and the arrest and pre-trial detention of 23 others. Today, 21 workers and activists remain detained, while those responsible for the killings have gone unpunished.

Among the 21 remaining detainees is human rights defender, Theng Savoeun. Savoeun is Coordinator of the Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC), and one of 50 independent activists who work as a citizen journalist with support from the Community Legal Education Center (CLEC). Arrested on charges of intentional violence and damage with aggravating circumstances, Savoeun now faces a possible prison sentence of 2-5 years and fines of up to 5000 USD. Family members say that Savoeun's health is suffering due to a pre-existing medical condition that isn't being treated in detention.

Since the arrests, an international campaign has been launched to demand justice for all the detained, including Sovoeun. CLEC and its group of citizen journalists have been working daily to raise awareness through social media of various non-violent actions such as petitions, peaceful gatherings, and releasing balloons. As garment workers continue to move forward in their struggle to increase the minimum wage, justice must be found for all the arrested and violence against workers and activists must be stopped.


For more information, please contact, Ngeth Moses: (+855) 66 777 010


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We Miss You Savoeun video




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