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CCHR in the News
Report calls out Pheap
PPP, 2013-11-20
And in a report released in August, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights said it had evidence of rampant illegal logging in Preah Vihear being carried out under orders from Pheap. Phil Robertson, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Asia division, said via email yesterday that big land concessions in Cambodia have inevitably resulted in “rights abuses and resource looting going hand in hand”.
Budget leaves $1.5b unassigned
PPP, 2013-11-14
Ou Virak, director of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said unassigned money in the budget kept the door open for corruption. “Actually, it’s common. It means that the prime minister can basically do whatever he wants [with this money],” Virak said. “He can allocate money to whatever projects he wants.… In the past, they have given money to companies owned by their own sons, for example.” While it is normal for governments to have “discretionary funds” in their budgets, Kol Preap, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said that anything over 10 per cent should be a cause for alarm.
CNRP’s voice is missing on key legislation
PPP, 2013-11-13
Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, said that the CNRP’s strategy would not build confidence in its ability to govern. “They need to look at [the budget], they need to analyse it. I think the fact that they didn’t do that shows a lack of depth in terms of their ability to look at national policies,” he said. Virak added that if the ruling party began moving forth with real reform – the prime minister recently called for a draft freedom of information law to be expedited – while the opposition simply boycotts, it could erode the CNRP’s legitimacy.
Woman shot dead in Cambodia protest clash
Global Post, 2013-11-12
The Cambodian Center for Human Rights said it "strongly condemns the violent turn of events" and urged the government to investigate the shooting -- the second death of a civilian in the Cambodian capital in two months. Opposition rallies against Hun Sen's ruling party turned violent in September, leaving one protester dead. SL workers have been demonstrating periodically for weeks in a dispute with employers that includes claims of intimidation over the use of military police in factory inspections.
Woman Shot Dead by Cambodian Police in Protest Clampdown
RFA, 2013-11-12
The Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) also condemned Tuesday’s violence in a statement, demanding authorities conduct a probe into the incident and “put in place mechanisms to ensure the death of innocent bystanders does not happen again.” CCHR also called on the government to “ensure that all businesses operating in Cambodia respect the provisions in Cambodian law related to labor rights and the right to freedom of association, including those to collective bargaining.”
Council elections will lack democracy: NGOs
PPP, 2013-11-07
Cambodian Center for Human Rights president Ou Virak maintained that in a strict party system like Cambodia’s commune council members will simply stick to party lines, making the actual poll pointless. “I think it’s a waste of time and money,” he said. “You have parties voting for parties, basically, so if you do basic math, you can see how many parties will have how many seats. “Unless there’s vote buying,” Virak added. “You have less numbers to buy than in the general population.”
Opposition tells CPP: Agree, or talks off
PPP, 2013-11-06
While the new two-month deadline for dialogue would be enough time to yield results, Cambodian Center for Human Rights president Ou Virak called for patience from both sides to end the deadlock. “The main national interest is to keep both sides at the negotiation table,” he said. “If [they] want fast [results], they should state clearly how to achieve it.”
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