Archive for June 23rd, 2007

Friday, 22.6.2007: Amnesty International Questions Detention of Foreign Protesters

Posted on 23 June 2007. Filed under: Week 513 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 513

“Amnesty International is deeply concerned about the detention of eight foreigners on Tuesday, 19 June 2007, for demonstrating outside of the donors’ meeting in Phnom Penh, to draw attention to the conviction of two men accused of killing the trade union leader Mr. Chea Vichea in 2004, an accusation that many people believe is wrong.

“Ms. Brittis Edman, a researcher for the London-based human rights’ Southeast Asia team, wrote in an e-mail on Wednesday, 20 June 2007, ‘Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the Cambodian authorities held and questioned people who had done nothing but peacefully express an opinion.’

“She added, ‘We call on participants at the donors’ meeting to address the issue that the murder of Mr. Chea Vichea so painfully highlights: how the failings of the Cambodia’s judiciary perpetuate impunity.’

“Police said on Tuesday 19 June that they detained the Westerners after repeatedly warning them to take the signs down which attest to the innocence of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, who are serving 20 years each in prison for the killing of the union leader Chea Vichea, and not to block traffic when they halted their vehicles outside the Council for the Development of Cambodia where the donors meeting was in progress.

“Immigration police detained eight foreigners for more than nine hours, accusing them of causing a public disturbance:

  1. Steve Gourley, American
  2. Brian Mayer, American
  3. Lindsay Watson, Canadian
  4. Lee Robinson, Canadian
  5. Elija Penner, American
  6. Christian Cornelissen, Danish
  7. Sri Sten Jack, New Zealander
  8. Steve Haknett, Briton

“Mr. Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly and Honorary President of the Cambodian People’s Party, claimed that the protesters had abused Cambodia’s sovereignty, and that they were linked to the political opposition.

“Mr. Heng Samrin said, ‘The foreigners want us to respect human rights, but they do not respect Cambodian law.’

“He said, ‘They are opposition party people. They do not want the donor countries to give money to develop the country.’ However he did not name a specific political party.

“Mr. Steve Gourley, 40, from California, one of the detainees and a member of this nameless human rights coalition that organized the demonstration on Tuesday 19 June which made international news headlines following their detention, said that the group was politically independent.

“He said, ‘It is typical that the government tries to politicize this.’

“Ms. Mu Sochua, the Secretary-General of the Sam Rainsy Party, said that the detainees were not connected to the Sam Rainsy Party, but added that she supported their attempt to publicize Born Samnang’s and Sok Sam Oeun’s case.

“She said, ‘People must help each other across borders in upholding the declaration of human rights.’” Thngay Nis, Vol.13, #613, 22-23.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 22 June 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1372, 22.6.2007

  • Samdech Hun Sen Is Satisfied That He Is Elected President of the Cambodian Veterans’ Association
  • Riel 1,966,291,750 [approx. US$0500,000] Planned to Spend on Inauguration of National Assembly Building
  • Moung Russey District Forestry Officials Are Very Well Off, from Forest Crimes
  • Rainstorm and Lightning Injure 3 People, Kill 3 Cattle, and Destroy 16 Houses in Angk Snuol [Kandal]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #487, 22.6.2007

  • Appointment of So Many Advisors Will Make the Current Government Become an Indecent Hole-in-Basket Woman [Hun Sen proposed to the King the appointment of about 28 advisors to Funcinpec officials]
  • Oknha Lach Touch Becomes Influential Person and Transports Wood to Yuon [Vietnam]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6072, 22.6.2007

  • 15 Journalists’ Associations Meet [at World Vision meeting hall] for Cooperation [Phnom Penh]
  • Germany Provides Grant Aid of $8 Million for Power Supplies in Rural Areas in Southern Cambodia
  • Plenty of Trees Cut [by people who are paid by the rich and powerful] at Sites Prohibited by Forestry Officials in Samraong, Oddar Meanchey
  • [Three] Cars Transporting Luxury Wood Seized by Prosecutor [Pursat]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3191, 22.6.2007

  • Donor Countries Want to Meet [Deputy Prime Minister] Sok An to Discuss Draft Anti-Corruption Law and Public Administration Reforms
  • Demand that Foreign Donors Observe the Government Using Their Aid Transparently
  • Trees at Tum Ring Area Are Still Continually Felled, Sawn, and Transported Illegally [Kompong Thom]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1193, 22.6.2007

  • Many Illegal Dredging Sites Operate in Prasat Bakong, Siem Reap

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4317, 22.6.2007

  • Thailand Opposes Request for Designating Preah Vihear Temple as World Heritage [for the reason that the temple is on a mountain at the border, and the temple entrance area, which is in Thailand, was not negotiated with Thailand to be also included]
  • Siem Reap Forestry Officials Transport Wood Illegally
  • Motorcycle Drivers Must Go to Driving Schools for Getting Driving Licenses [says Ing Chun Huor, Director-General of the Department of Transport]
  • Drunken Man Beats His Wife to Death [he is arrested – Smach Meanchey, Kok Kong]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3068, 22.6.2007

  • Seizure of Kranhoung Wood in Kompong Speu Indicates that Global Witness Report Is Correct
  • Journalists Concerned over Death Treat against Mr. Lem Piseth [Radio Free Asia reporter]
  • Activities of Yuon [Vietnamese] Companies Buying Rice Fields from Khmer People at Border Areas Cause More and More Concerns
  • Loose Conditions of International Community and Donor Countries Make Cambodian Government Become Professional Beggar [mocking]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #433, 22.6.2007

  • China Helps Hun Sen with More Than $90 Million [or the total amount of foreign aid for 2008 would be less than in previous years]

Thngay Nis, Vol.13, #613, 22-23.6.2007

  • Amnesty International Questions Detention of Foreign Protesters

Go to last week’s editorial

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