Archive for April 20th, 2007

Thursday, 19.4.2007: Mr. Yash Ghai: To Continue To Detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun Is a Very Seriously Unjust Act

Posted on 20 April 2007. Filed under: Week 504 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 504 – starting again after the Khmer New Year holidays

“Mr. Yash Ghai, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia condemned directly from Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday, the decision to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun as a very seriously unjust act.

“Moreover, he again seriously demanded an investigation by independent officials into the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea, the former head of Free Trade Union of Workers of Kingdom of Cambodia, in order to provide justice to the victim and to the wrongly accused who are jailed instead of the real murderers.

“The hot reaction from the United Nations Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s special envoy happened after the Appeals Court had announced a verdict to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun for 20 years, by maintaining the unjust verdict of Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2005, and regarding it as legal, while national and international civil society organizations consider Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun as wrongly accused murderers.

“The Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, which is an association of many civil society organizations, has recently released a statement condemning the very unjust verdict of the Appeals Court, calling it to be politically motivated and completely not independent.

“It should be remembered that Mr. Yash Ghai once criticized the head of current package government, saying that ‘in Cambodia, everything is in only one person’s fists.’ Direct criticism by Mr. Yash Ghai made Strongman Hun Sen angry, and he use bad words towards Mr. Yash Ghai and even demanded that the United Nations remove Mr. Yash Ghai as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for human rights in Cambodia.

“Mr. Yash Ghai did not react badly to Hun Sen’s anger, that means he still plans to come to Cambodia in the future to discus with Hun Sen. And the discussion with Hun Sen will concern nothing besides human rights violation in Cambodia by powerful officials.

“Mr. Yash Ghai has not yet arrived in Cambodia, but he started the attack from Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday, saying that to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun for 20 years, according to the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, is a very seriously unjust issue, and therefore it is important to have an investigation again, by an independent group.

“Mr. Yash Ghai added, ‘So many pieces of evidence which are found indicate that there is a political game in the Cambodian court, and the decision of the court judge was based on the indication from strong powerful people.

“It should be remembered that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were sentenced 1 August 2005 and each was condemned to 20 years’ imprisonment, based on the accusation of shooting Mr. Chea Vichea, the president of Free Trade Union of Workers of Kingdom of Cambodia, on 22 January 2004.

“Such an unjust judgment by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court caused a counter-attack by the families of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun. After the suing back, the Appeals Court held a hearing like a girls’ game for one day, and then delayed the announcement of their decision until Thursday; then the Appeals Court decided to maintain the verdict of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court as legal, and to continue to detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun up to 20 years.

“In response to this, there is also a reaction against Mr. Yash Ghai: if there is no clear evidence, Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun definitely cannot be released.

“However, critics said that if there is no investigation by an independent group, from where could evidence be found, to prove that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun are not murderers? Therefore, the Ministry of Interior and the court must do whatever possible, in order to hold an investigation of the shooting death of Mr. Chea Vichea, because at least the game which is being played by the court and the power holders is known by Heng Pov [former Phnom Penh Police Commissioner who is accused of crimes and at present is imprisoned in Phnom Penh] and Ms. Va Sothy [a former vendor of newspapers at the place where Chea Vichea was killed] who also announced publicly that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Ouen are not the murderers who shot Mr. Chea Vichea.

“Moreover, even Mr. Chea Mony, who is a brother of Mr. Chea Vichea, does not believe that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun are murderers and he demands the court to release both.

“It is said that , the Hun Sen government will be blamed by the international community for what Mr. Yash Ghai has condemned.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3136, 19.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 19 April 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1317, 19.4.2007

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Questions Meeting between Sok An and Sam Rainsy [after Sam Rainsy had called for weak parties to join with each other after the commune elections]
  • Two Ambassadors [of the USA and of Canada] Survey Results of Subdistrict and Commune Elections in Cambodia
  • World Food Program Starts to Provide Food to Cambodian People Again [after two-month interruption because of lack of fund]
  • Trees at Vay Chap Mountain Illegally Cut [Banan, Battambang]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6017, 19.4.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party Urges Khmer Rouge Tribunal [to be realized soon]; 32 Years Have Passed, Dark History Is Still Controversial
  • Cambodian People’s Party Gets 75 Commune Chiefs in Kompong Thom; Sam Rainsy Party Gets 6 Commune Chiefs [from commune elections]
  • Svay Rieng FM 103.75 MHz Presenter Cut on Head by Her Father in Attempt to Kill Her, Her Husband, and Her Baby Boy [her father is now arrested, she is hospitalized]
  • Trees at Dangrek Mountains Cut to Claim Land [Preah Vihear]
  • Pursat Market Completely Burned on Khmer New Year Day, Allegedly by Arson

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3136, 19.4.2007

  • Village Chief Election by Simple Majority System To Be Complete Democracy at Local Level
  • [Local] Experts Reject Prediction of Chinese Company [China Petrotech Holdings] about Khmer Gas [it says there are 226 million barrels of oil in Section D, 360 sq km and 278 km off Sihanoukville]
  • Mr. Yash Ghai: To Continue To Detain Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun Is a Very Seriously Unjust Act
  • More 100 Chinese Found Trafficked from Cambodia [in Colombia – according to Associated Press]

Rasmei Santepheap, Vol.15, #4262, 19.4.2007

  • Mr. Ly Thuch [Senior Minister and Parliamentarian from Pursat] Leaves Funcinpec [and joins CPP]
  • [Thach Ket] Sralanh Khmer Publisher Appears in Court to Responds to [defamation] Lawsuits of Samdech Euv [the former King] and Samdech Mae [the former Queen]
  • Canadian Embassy Denies Report about Closure of Office in Cambodia
  • Phnom Pen Municipality Rejects Request for Demonstration Opposite Vietnamese Embassy by Khmer Kampuchea Krom Community
  • President of Vietnamese Assembly Will Lead Delegation to Visit Cambodia [on 25-28 April]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #378, 19.4.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Party to Complete Local Level Reform in July and Hold Congress in August
  • US Grants Visa to Mr. Hok Lundy [Director-General of National Police] to Attend Meeting against Terrorism Today
  • Sam Rainsy Says Government Uses Different Pretexts To Delay Khmer Rouge Tribunal So All Khmer Rouge Elders Die
  • Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun No Longer Believe in Cambodian Court System

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