Cambodian authorities tell citizens to remove the Mam Sonando Justice Calendar from their homes

Created Date : 01 / Mar / 2013
Nature of Violation :
Rights Involved :

Description


On 27 February 2013, the districtPresident of the Democratic Association in Kampong Siem district, Mr. SiaSophon informed the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (“CCHR”) that a member ofthe Democrat Association in Krala commune, Mr. Thim Chhoun, who wasparticipating in the CCHR Justice Calendar Campaign by displaying the MamSonando Justice Calendar (the “Calendar”) outside his home, was threatened bythe authorities and told that he must remove the Calendar. The authorities toldThim Chhoun that displaying the Calendar was against Cambodian law.Thim Chhoun, a resident of Krala commune,Kampong Siem district, Kampong Cham Province was told by the Commune Chief on26 February 2013 that he was not allowed to display the Calendar as it was likea petition or a demonstration to demand the release of Mam Sonando. The CommuneChief claimed that this type of action was against the law because Mam Sonandois a convicted person. When contacted by the CCHR’s staff Thim Chhoun alsoadded that the authorities told his wife that her family should not act in sucha way to provoke attention because if something happened to her as a result, noone would be held responsible.Another similar case took placein Sa Ang district, Kandal province on 4 February 2013 when DemocratAssociation member Mr. Meng Seang Hai was told by the authorities that he must removethe Calendar from outside of his home because it was against the law. When CCHRheard of this case and contacted the authorities in Sa Ang to ask which articleof which law had been violated, the authorities replied that they did not havethe time to answer. Meng Seang Hai removed the Calendar initially but for the pastweek he has once again displayed the Calendar and has yet to be approached bythe authorities to take it down. It should be noted that in displayingthis Calendar Thim Chhoun and Meng Seang Hai were exercising their right tofreedom of expression, as protected under the Constitution of the Kingdom ofCambodia and under international covenants to which Cambodia is a party. The Calendar was launched by CCHRon 15 January 2013 and records the number of days that Mam Sonando has beenimprisoned since his arrest on 15 July 2012. Copies of the Calendar have beendistributed by CCHR to other non-governmental organizations and members of thepublic who wish to participate in the campaign by displaying the Calendaroutside their office, business or home. Since the launch of the campaign on 15January 2013, CCHR has distributed three Calendars to the Independent Democracyof Informal Economy Association and 57 banners to members of the DemocratAssociation. CCHR has also received further the requests for the Calendar thatare currently being processed.

Contact Information


For more information, please contact CCHR Freedom ofExpression Project Coordinator Sorn Ramana via telephone at +855 (0) 17 65 55 91 or email at [email protected].