Archive for November, 2007

Thursday, 29.11.2007: Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Our Cambodian Sea Must Not Be Allowed to Become a Safe Refuge for Terrorists

Posted on 30 November 2007. Filed under: Week 536 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 536

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, said ‘We must not leave the Cambodian sea open to become a refuge for terrorists or pirates.’

“Samdech Prime Minister said this on the occasion of participating in a seminar on the security of the Cambodian sea held for two days on 28-29 November 2007 at the Hotel Le Royal, held with cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and the Australian Embassy.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said that this conference is very important. Now terrorism or cross-border crimes are conducted by air and on land, and there are many measures taken to prevent them. Thus, terrorists also consider this, and they may use the open seas to avoid being suppressed by officials of those states that join together to persecute them. Pirates are also active. Samdech Dekchor continued that during the past few years, he was worried a lot, because on one side of the Cambodian shoreline is Vietnam – it has a good navy; and on the other side is Thailand – it also has a good navy, but the Cambodian navy had nothing to act with; therefore, at any time terrorists or pirates might think that the Cambodian sea is a safe refuge for them. Considering this situation motivated Samdech Hun Sen to go to China to seek for a supplier of ships. The capacity of the navy is now increased, but this increase of capacity is not to threaten the neighbors of Cambodia (Vietnam and Thailand), in contrast, it is to join with our counterparts to prevent and to destroy the source of terrorism, of cross-border crimes, and pirates, and to guarantee safety for economic activities such as oil, which is being explored, so that it can lead to business activities. Also there is the general maritime transportation to Sihanoukville, and also many tourists enter Cambodia by sea.

“Samdech Dekchor went on say that he has already discussed this point with the Australian Ambassador Ms. Magaret Adamson and other friendly partner countries. Samdech continued that Australia has much experience in this issue, because Australia is surrounded by the sea. The USA also has much experiences, and so does Singapore. Hence, there are procedures for protection and for the management of such work. They will share these with us for the safety of the world and for the safety of humanity, to be free from terrorist threats.

“Samdech Hun Sen went on to say, ‘If we leave the Cambodian sea open to become an area of robberies for pirates to rob and to burn, it will be dangerous. During the previous ASEAN conference, Japan focused very much on this issue, related to pirates in the Street of Malacca. However, if pirates everywhere else are suppressed, then they may find that Cambodia is incompetent, and they come to Cambodia; that would be a problem.’

“In the meantime, Samdech Prime Minister also asked for caution on the Cambodian rivers, as terrorists may use all means, they could attack ships transporting oil, and spill the oil all over the rivers, and then burn it to pollute the environment.

“Samdech Dekchor said that the Royal Government of Cambodia expressed its goodwill to fully cooperate with the international community in actions to prevent terrorism. Cambodia is geographically apart from terrorism sources, so that the Cambodian borders do not provide strategic corridors for attacks and refuge for foreign terrorists; but even so Cambodia should not fall into the thinking of pacifism.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4429, 29.11.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 29 November 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1505, 29.11.2007

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Increasing Capacity of Cambodian Navy Is Not a Threat
  • Khmer National Party Merges with Human Rights Party
  • Man Drives Car, Hits and Pulls Motorcycle for 700 Meters, then He Gets Out of the Car and Fires One Bullet as a Threat [he escapes – Phnom Penh]
  • Iran Affirms that It Has Another Long-Distance Missile

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #61, 29.11.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Welcomes Children of Cambodian People’s Party Leaders to Enter Politics, but He Asks Them Not to Destroy the Nation [responding to Prime Minister Hun Sen]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6205, 29.11.2007

  • Strengthening of Maritime Security: Samdech Dekchor Asks for Attention on Islands by the Military
  • AK-47 Gun Robbers from Kompong Speu Enter Police Trap: One of Them Shot to Death and Two Escape [Angk Snuol, Kandal]
  • Pre-Trail Will Announce Verdict on Monday on “Duch” Whether to Continue Being Detained or to Be Released on Bail

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3324, 29.11.2007

  • After Failure, Asking for Alliance with Opposition Groups, Prince Ranariddh Asks for Talks with Hun Sen
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Supports International Community Confiscating Property of Burmese Military Leaders Deposited Abroad
  • Hun Sen Regime Has Many Dictators Visiting Cambodia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4429, 29.11.2007

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Our Cambodian Sea Must Not Be Allowed to Become a Safe Refuge for Terrorists
  • 80 US Marines Conduct Charity Activities at Hun Sen Krong Primary School [Sihanoukville]
  • 48 US Marines Provides Dental Treatment to Citizens in Stung Trang District, Kompong Cham
  • All Chiefs of Prison Regime [former Khmer Rouge leaders] Appeals Demand Freedom to Live Outside Detention
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Welcomes US Warship Mooring in Cambodia
  • Australian Mining Company [Southern Gold] Starts Mining for First Time in Kratie
  • European Union Provides $33 Million Grant Aid to Support Cambodian Development Programs
  • German Company [Rickmers Reismuehle GmbH] Promises Cambodian Company [Phou and Rickmers Rice Limited] that It Will Help to Export Rice to European Community
  • Tricycles Meet US Navy Clients; They Make $300 per Night [from carrying them and from commissions received from prostitutes; sex rates increased to $50 – Sihanoukville]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3195, 29.11.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Stood Near and Praised Prime Minister that Democracy in Cambodia Gets Mature
  • World Bank Reviews All Its Aid Strategies
  • Ministry of Education Will Be Well Off [by corruption] Again if Asian Development Bank Does Not Set Clear Conditions on Its Aid

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #562, 29.11.2007

  • In Cambodia, Politicians Who Have Two Nationalities Serve Khmers, but Those with One Nationality Are Yuon [Vietnamese] Slaves
  • Hun Sen Urges Anti-Corrupt People Law to Be Adopted Soon [mocking anti-corruption law]

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Wednesday, 28.11.2007: Samdech Dekchor: “To Be Brave, Prime Ministerial Candidates Should Give Up One Nationality”

Posted on 29 November 2007. Filed under: Week 536 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 536

“Phnom Penh: Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said, ‘Politicians in Cambodia should stop using two nationalities, they are not brave at all; especially prime ministerial candidates should give up their second nationality if they are brave.’

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen of the Royal Government of Cambodia said so on the occasion of awarding bachelor’s degrees certificates to teacher trainees of the advanced, and teacher trainees of the basic level on the morning of 27 November.

“Samdech Hun Sen asked, ‘Do prime ministerial candidates dare to give up their second nationality? If not, how can they be trusted? They work in Cambodia, but they take money to pay taxes to France.’

“Samdech went on to say, ‘Let’s wait and see when the anti-corruption law is adopted it will be serious. I warn them to prepare themselves, because when the anti-corruption law is adopted, wealth has to be declared. If wealth has to be declared, those with two nationalities who have property in Cambodia will be asked by France why they have property in Cambodia, and why did they not pay taxes to the state for years?’ Samdech continued that the crucial point is not for those with Cambodian, but for those with two nationalities.

“Samdech Hun Sen continued that he also has fears, because he has a grandchild who was born in America; thus this child has American nationality. He does not known how to give up this nationality. Because if America would enter into war, this child might be called for military service, and when this child grows up and lives and does business in Cambodia without paying taxes to America, America will issue an arrest warrant.

“Samdech continued that some people [who have two nationalities] have up to 600 hectares of land in Siem Reap, and some have land even in Mondolkiri. Some boast that they are clean, but they have hundreds of hectares of land for sale; but if France would asks them how they got money to buy land and houses in Cambodia, that would be serious.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4448, 28.11.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Chakraval, Vol.15, #2733, 28.11.2007

  • Mr. You Hockry [secretary-general of the Norodom Ranariddh Party] Writes to Oknha Kith Meng [director general of Cambodian Television Network] to Take Action against Mr. Soy Sopheap [a CTN reporter – for using CTN to denigrate the Norodom Ranariddh Party]
  • Owners of Newsstands Opposite Borei Keyla Protest – They Don’t Want to Move [Prampi Makara, Phnom Penh]
  • Ou Chrov District Police Inspector [Ing Song You] Drives Car and Hits Three Travelers on Motorcycle: Man Died, His Wife and Daughter Are Seriously Wounded [Moung Russey, Battambang]
  • Ing Song You, Ou Chrov District Police Inspector, Issues Letter Allowing Businesspeople to Export Second-Hand Clothes through Corridors, Losing State Income
  • Son of Kandal Deputy Governor [Kol Sam Ol] Drives Car and Hits Another Car: Three People Are Seriously Wounded [Kien Svay, Kandal]
  • Prey Veng: Customs Officers Suppress Small Gasoline Sellers but Spare the Big Ones

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #45, 28.11-4.12.2007

  • Man Pretends to Be a Nephew of Municipal Court President [Chiv Keng] to Deceive Wife of Teav Chhay [wood businessman who is jailed] into Giving Him More Than $100,000 to Prepare Papers for Her Husband to Be Released [he is arrested]
  • Human Rights Party Signboards Continue to Be Removed; Keo Remy [vice-president of HRP] Says This Is an Acts of Cowards

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1504, 28.11.2007

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Tells Opposition Groups to Wait to See Competent Successors in the Cambodian People’s Party
  • Woman and Her Two Children Died in Chong Khnies Commune, Stung by Wasps [Siem Reap]
  • Trees on Hundreds of Hectares of Forest Land in Trapeang Krasang Village, Srae Nouy Commune, Are Illegally Cut [Varin, Siem Reap]
  • Man Takes His [18-year-old] Daughter to Work in Thailand, but Rapes Her [he is arrested – Banteay Meanchey]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #529, 28.11.2007

  • Positions of Economic Police Are Freely Sold
  • Government of Big Head and Small Butt Is Poisoned with Stars [mocking generals]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #60, 28.11.2007

  • Hun Sen Wants Prime Ministerial Candidates to Give Up [second, foreign] Nationality, Because It Is then Easier to Arrest and Jail Them [mocking]
  • [President of Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association] Rong Chhun Tells a Conference in Ireland about Bad Human Rights Situation in Cambodia
  • Newspaper Sellers Opposite Bak Touk School Demand $5,500 in Exchange for Moving Away

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #312, 28-30.11.2007

  • Illegal Wood Businesswoman “Chae Huor” [“Sister Huor”] Is Well Off from Having a Warehouse at the CAMKO Satellite City [Phnom Penh]
  • [Hundreds of] US Diplomats Refuse to Go to Work in Iraq

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6204, 28.11.2007

  • If People Vote for Me, I Will Still Be Prime Minister for Life; but Young People of the Cambodian People’s Party Are Ready to Enter into Other Positions [says Hun Sen]
  • US National Democratic Institute for International Affairs Trains Women from Political Parties [Cambodian People’s Party, Funcinpec, and Sam Rainsy Party]
  • Toyota Company Plans to Create Automatic System for Cars to Stop When Traffic Light Is Red

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3323, 28.11.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Prepares to Declare His Wealth When an Anti-Corruption Law Is Created
  • Mr. Yim Sovann [SRP parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Urges Armed Forces’ Generals to Be Independent from Politics in Order to Avoid that They Help Parties
  • Seeking for $3 Billion Investments Will Not Be Successful because of Corruption

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1251, 28.11.2007

  • Samdech Euv [the Father King], Samdech Mae [the former Queen], and Samdech Koun [King Sihamoni] Leave for Beijing Today

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4448, 28.11.2007

  • Samdech Dekchor: “To Be Brave, Prime Ministerial Candidates Should Give Up One Nationality”
  • Government Asks [National Assembly] for $1.5 Billion 2008 National Budget [2007 national budget is $1.2 billion]
  • Three Main Parties [Cambodian People’s Party, Funcinpec, and Sam Rainsy Party] Strengthen Capacity of Women for 2008 Election
  • US Warship USS Essex Visits Cambodia to Strengthen Relations
  • Singaporean Prime Minister [Lee Hsien Loong] Thanks Cambodia for Effort to Find Singaporean Sportsmen Who Drowned in Boat Race
  • Siem Reap Starts to Use Electricity Bought from Thailand Which Is Cheaper than the Previous One Used
  • Thai Military Asks for $8.8 Billion [from government] for Weapons

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Tuesday, 27.11.2007: Kampuchea Thmey Reporter Finds that Corruption Exists from the Lowest to Higher Levels, after He Had Been Detained for Two Nights and Two Days

Posted on 28 November 2007. Filed under: Week 536 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 536


“Phnom Penh: Freedom is an important right of every person; justice and injustice are quite separate. An individuals who suffer much injustice cannot accept it, and then they have to resist in order to demand justice.

“An example of such injustice is what was done to a reporter of Kampuchea Thmey who had been detained for two nights and two days at the Daun Penh police station as a suspect, because a digital camera of another person had disappeared, and then the reporter was accused without any evidence, on the first day of Water Festival.

“Because of this accusation without evidence, which embarrassed the Kampuchea Thmey reporter and damaged his reputation, Kampuchea Thmey decided to sue back to demand compensation for the mental damage, though the reporter has already been released.

“Chan Thy, a Kampuchea Thmey reporter for the Preah Vihear province, had submitted an article to Kampuchea Thmey in Phnom Penh on 27 November 2007, the first day of the Water Festival. After submitting the article, he went to visit the Water Festival on his own.

“While he walked in the crowd like other people at 8 o’clock in the evening in front of the Royal Palace, a man named Chhun Kong was walking a motorcycle carrying a large basket with duck eggs in the same direction in the crowd. Then suddenly Chhun Kong grabbed Chan Thy’s shirt and pulled it until some shirt buttons tore off, and he accused Chan Thy of having taken a digital camera from his pocket. After a lengthy dispute among the crowd, the Kampuchea Thmey reporter decided to take the accuser to officials, in order to find a solution for this situation. However, when they arrived at an office at the Water Festival in Chaktomuk subdistrict, the police arrested the reporter. The officials did not ask for a clear reason for the accusation. Then they took the money out from the reporter’s pocket – $162 and Riel 450,000 [approx. US$110] – and said that they confiscated the money as evidence, because the accusation by Chhun Kong said that his camera had disappeared, but the camera was not found with the Kampuchea Thmey reporter.

“At that time the reporter was sent to the Daun Penh district police detention center for one night, just because of a suspicion without any evidence at all. As for the money which had been with him, it was confiscated by the police. In the morning of 24 November, the officials sent the Kampuchea Thmey reporter to the court.

“When he was sent to the court, documents were submitted to Deputy Prosecutor Kry Sok Y to be checked. But when he entered the deputy prosecutor’s room, the deputy prosecutor was not there, but two court clerks were waiting, and they looked at the documents quickly.

“First of all, the court clerks did not check the documents, but they started to check the money and to count it, to compare the amount with the police report. However, it was most disappointing that, while the amount of the money was correct, a counterfeit twenty-dollar bill was among it. It was a photocopy, and it was torn looking like an old one. Now the court clerks started to threaten him, ‘What do you think, now there are two offences – first, the suspicion of having stolen a camera, and second, here is a counterfeit dollar bill. If you don’t want to be on the list of having used a counterfeit dollar bill, get a real one to replace it.’ At that time, another reporter of Kampuchea Thmey, who had come to accompany the suspect, got a twenty-dollar bill from his pocket to replace the fake one at the demand of the court clerks. After using the twenty-dollar bill to replace it, the court clerk Kry Kim Khaon asked the Kampuchea Thmey reporter, ‘How much will you give us?’ The reporter said, ‘All that money belongs to my daughter who sent it to buy hairdressing equipment, so you should get only $50.’ The court clerk refused to accept it because it was too small an amount. The reporter said, ‘Then I give you $80.’ The court clerk still did not agree to accept it and said that it is not enough, and he told the reporter, ‘Give us the Riel 450,000 and everything is finished.’ But then the court clerk told the reporter to give him another $20 for the police, for the transportation of the reporter; and the reporter gave him another $20. Then the court clerks started to ask about this and that, they closed the documents, but they still sent the Kampuchea Thmey reporter to be detained.

”As for the counterfeit dollar bill that the Kampuchea Thmey reporter held, his money had been confiscated to be kept at the Daun Penh district police station, the money had been counted by the reporter and the police who wrote the report, and no counterfeit dollar bill had been found. The amount of $162 was all made up from newly-printed bills, no one was old, and no piece was torn. As for the Riel 450,000, this amount was correct. Why did an old counterfeit twenty-dollar bill appear when the amount was presented at the court? What does this act mean? The police who had written the report said that when they counted the money, the amount was correct, as the Kampuchea Thmey reporter confirmed. However, the police did not confirm that there was no counterfeit dollar bill, they just stated that when they counted, there was no old dollar bill. However, the issue of the counterfeit dollar bill is now being investigated by the Deputy Phnom Penh Municipal Police Commissioner Pol Pithey. He promised that if any policeman is found to have really done a bad thing like that, he will fine or punish them.

“Mr. Pol Pithey told Kampuchea Thmey that he finds this issue to be very unfair to the journalist, and he does not support the actions taken against the journalist.

“He added that the policeman who put the counterfeit dollar bill in will be punished, and the policeman who got $20 from the journalist must give it back to him, and he does not support the court clerks who extorted Riel 450,000 from the journalist as well.

“Now the Kampuchea Thmey journalist is released, through a final decision by Mr. Chiv Keng, the president of Phnom Penh municipal court.

“Mr. Chiv Keng told Kampuchea Thmey that first, he did not know that a journalist of Kampuchea Thmey was detained like that, and he also did not know that the court clerks of Prosecutor Kry Sok Y got Riel 450,000 from the journalist. Mr. Chiv Keng said that he will not tolerate such extortion of money in the court. Mr. Chiv Keng stated that the Riel 450,000 must be given back to the journalists urgently.

“Separately, the Kampuchea Thmey staff member, who suffered this injustice, decided to sue Chhun Kong on the accusation of damaging his reputation and the name of Kampuchea Thmey, and he demands also legal compensation for the mental damages he suffered.

“Mr. Chhun Kong, male, 27, currently lives in House 30, Street 222, Khmuonh Subdistrict, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh; therefore, in order to restore their reputation, Kampuchea Thmey decided to sue him.

Kampuchea Thmey does not support impunity, but does whatever promotes justice and transparency in society. As for the journalist, he suffered like it has been described, but what about innocent citizens who do not know anyone to help them – how much would they suffer?” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1503, 27.11.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.1, #20, 27-28.11.2007

  • Human Rights Party Tells Hun Sen to Reduce Gasoline Supplies to Parliamentarians, Senators, and Members of Government [in order to reduce gasoline price]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1503, 27.11.2007

  • Impertinent Man Forges Seal Stamps and Signatures of Top Leaders of the Nation
  • Bodies of [five] Singaporean Nationals [boat racers who drowned] Sent to Singapore after Buddhist Ceremony at Calmette Hospital
  • Kampuchea Thmey Reporter Finds that Corruption Exists from the Lowest to Higher Levels, after He Had Been Detained for Two Nights and Two Days
  • Man Rapes His [12-year-old] Stepdaughter and Threatens to Kill Her [he is arrested – Sampov Lun, Battambang]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #59, 27.11.2007

  • Secretary-General of Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats [Nereus Acosta] Is Confident that Sam Rainsy Party Will Win over Dictators in Cambodia [in 2008 Election]
  • Deaths of Singaporean Boat Racers Caused by Habit of Khmer Government of Looking Down on People’s Lives

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6203, 27.11.2007

  • Woman Chops Her Husband to Death [in domestic violence – she escapes – Kandal Stung, Kandal]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3322, 27.11.2007

  • Chief Forger of Seal Stamps and Signatures of Heng Samrin and Sok An, Allowing 17,009 Hectares of Land for Construction of Airport in Siem Reap, Is Arrested

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4447, 27.11.2007

  • New Burmese Prime Minister [Thein Sein] Will Visit Cambodia Soon
  • Vietnam Tries 26 Teachers and Educational Officials [on accusation of receiving bribes from students in exchange for helping them to pass exams]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3193, 27.11.2007

  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Bets His Life, if Kem Sokha [president of Human Rights Party] and Sam Rainsy [president of Sam Rainsy Party] Win over Cambodian People’s Party [in 2008 Election]
  • Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights Calls for End of Using Violence Countrywide for Evicting People

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #560, 27.11.2007

  • Samdech Euv [the Father King] Will Leave for Medical Treatment in Beijing [on 28 November]
  • Authorities [biased toward ruling party] Prevent Sam Rainsy Party Signboard from Being Erected [Baribour, Kompong Chhnang]

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Week 535 – 2007-11-25: The Khmer Rouge Trial: Understanding in the Head, and Understanding in the Heart

Posted on 25 November 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 535 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 535

On 21 June 1997, then First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh and the Second Prime Minister Hun Sen wrote to the Secretary-General of the United Nations:

“On behalf of the Cambodian Government and people, we write to you to ask for the assistance of the United Nations and the international community in bringing to justice those persons responsible for the genocide and crimes against humanity during the rule of the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979…

Cambodia does not have the resources or expertise to conduct this very important procedure. Thus, we believe it is necessary to ask for the assistance of the United Nations. We are aware of similar efforts to respond to the genocide and crimes against humanity in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia, and ask that similar assistance be given to Cambodia.

We believe that crimes of this magnitude are of concern to all persons in the world, as they greatly diminish respect for the most basic human right, the right to life.”

The pre-trial hearings conducted this past week by the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia about the request by Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, to be released on bail because his pre-trial detention is long beyond the maximum of three years permitted by Cambodian law, was the first public court event resulting from the 1997 appeal by the two prime ministers to the United Nations.

It had to be expected that the whole process of a Khmer Rouge trial would be difficult.

The National Assembly and the Senate had adopted related legislation in January 2001. However, a Cambodian lawyer appealed to then King Norodom Sihanouk to intervene as the new law, which had been worked out with the United Nations and allowed foreign judges to participate in the trial, seemed to contradict Article 129 of the Constitution. According to a report at the time – quoting here from Chinese news media under the headline “Trial on Khmer Rouge Leaders May Lead to Split of Cambodia: Sihanouk” – the King responded: “I would like to express my thanks, but I’d like to ask you to understand that the issue might lead to a split of our nation. I can not involve myself in the affairs of the Royal government and the two legislative branches.”

It was reported that on the day of the first public hearing last week, not fewer than 200 national and international journalists, and approximately 300 citizens from every walk of life, had gone to the compound of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. “All the citizens and journalists had assumed that they would be allowed to enter the hearing hall in order to see Duch’s face, but they were not allowed.” Most of them could see him only on two big screens of a closed-circuit televised transmission in a special room for the visitors.

When the proceedings showed that the hearings were concerned with the technical legalities of the detention without trial for eight years, six months, and ten days, and the request of the defense lawyers that their client be released on bail, some of the spectators who had come expecting to see the trial of a mass murderer got angry at the defense lawyer. Some people tried to explain the legalities and principles underlying these procedures: that to achieve justice, even people accused of tremendous atrocities have to be judged according to the law – even though they themselves did not judge others according to law – and not according to emotions.

Dr. Kek Galabru, the president of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights, was quoted in the Cambodia Daily as saying that, “People understand the principle of human rights for all in their heads, but not in their hearts.”

This gap is very wide – and not only in relation to the Khmer Rouge trial.

The Constitution of Cambodia says in Article 32:

“Every Khmer citizen shall have the right to life, personal freedom, and security. There shall be no capital punishment.”

But during this same week we have reports which show that murder is not an uncommon punishment or event: that members of the police force sometimes act with possibly lethal force, even in minor events; that a small group of men may kill another man in order to rape his friend; and that groups of angry people kill suspected wrongdoers.

  • Man, Whose Oxcart Was Hit by Another Oxcart, Was Chased by Police and They Fired a Gun at Him; He Escaped from His House for One Night
  • Perpetrators Who Shot a Teacher to Death and Raped His Girlfriend Arrested
  • Suspect of Robbery at Phone Shop in Stung Meanchey Killed by Mob; He Could Not Escape, He Begged for His Life, but He Was Beaten to Death by the Mob

In the meantime, it has been reported that Duch will probably not be released on bail, as his safety could not be guaranteed if he were released on bail – even if he did not try to flee.

An old victim of the Khmer Rouge regime, who had participated in the 1979 People’s Court in absentia trial of Pol Pot regime leaders, still hopes that the present trial will have a positive outcome for the future beyond this trial itself, “I want the current Cambodian courts to follow this court.”

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Thursday, 22.11.2007: The Second Day of Pre-Trail: Public Opinion Says for Safety Before Trial, “Duch” Must Stay in Detention

Posted on 23 November 2007. Filed under: Week 535 |

Because of the Water Festival holidays in Phnom Penh – 23 to 25 November 2007 – our next posting will be the weekly editorial on Sunday, 25 November 2007.

The daily translations will start again on Tuesday, 27 November 2007.

Norbert Klein
Editor of the Mirror

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 535

“Phnom Penh: Pre-trail procedures at the Khmer Rouge tribunal continued with the hearing of Duch’s complaint on 21 November 2007, the second day of the hearing, in order to deal with the complaint in which the suspect asked to be released on bail. On the second day of the hearing, the number of observer participants decreased, compared to the number of participants on 20 November, because is known that the discussion of the pre-trial is ‘just to deal with Duch’s request to be released on bail, but not to sentence him to prison.’

“Observers of the hearing said that on 21 November 2007, the second day of the pre-trail, they noticed that the majority of the participants is from different provinces and towns, with their participation arranged by [non government] organizations. Mr. Sam Sun Doeun, an official from a civil society organization, who had participated in the People’s Court hearings of Pol Pot regime leaders in August 1979, told journalists that the discussion of the present hearing is better, and it is open. He continued, ‘I want the current Cambodian courts to follow this court.’

“On the second day of the pre-trail hearings, the discussion started at 9 a.m.; the suspect was put in a small place behind the curved wooden dock next to his lawyers, under protection by security guards. From time to time, the judges asked the suspect Duch to stand up and answer their questions. However, Duch answered only a little bit and then transferred the questions to his lawyers to answer more in detail.

“Mr. Moeung Sonn, a former prisoner during the Khmer Rouge regime, said that Duch must dare to answer, in front of the court, everything regarding the activities with which innocent people were treated by militants of that dark regime. He continued, ‘He must confess who was behind him and ordered him, while the other four leaders are detained’.

“Mr. Chan Ke, 52, from Prey Veng, stated that he wants Duch to be detained, not to be bailed out. He said, ‘I want him to be detained, because people want to take revenge, even by killing him.’ He got the impression from listening to discussions for nearly two days that the lawyer’s want to bail him out, but the co-prosecutors said he should be detained.

“Lawyers Mr. Kar Savuth and Mr. Francois Roux stated that the detention of Duch had already lasted almost 9 years; this violates the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, which states that any detention has to be conducted based on an appropriate respect of law. Mr. Kar Savuth continued to say that he has also documents to show the involvement of co-judges with the Military Court.

“Ms. Chea Leang, a co-prosecutor, said that the co-prosecutors implement the law, claiming to have accused Duch with evidence to charge the suspect; and the co-judges are concerned about the suspect, so they decided to detain him temporarily. As for Mr. Robert Petit, he affirmed that the lawyers did note the previous agreements. But he said, ‘There is no relationship between the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and the Military Court, and what we raised is different from what the lawyers raised.’

“Mr. Reach Sambath, the Khmer Rouge Tribunal spokesperson, said that they are not concerned about the decline in the number of citizens who participated, because it is the second day of the hearing. He continued, ‘The trial ended in two days, and the verdict will be announced later’.

“Mr. Robert Petit, the co-prosecutor, added, ‘It is a trial just to decide whether to detain Duch or to release him on bail.’ He continued that the real trial may be held in mid 2008. But Duch said, ‘Please release me temporarily,’ however the co-prosecutors stressed that releasing him to stay outside cannot guarantee his safety.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6199, 22.11.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 November 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1499, 22.11.2007

  • After the Water Festival, Prince Thomico Will Go to Meet Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh – trying to reconcile monarchists]
  • COMPED of Germany [Cambodian Education and Waste Management Organization] Wants Children on Garbage Dump [in Battambang] to Receive Schooling Like Other Children

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #57, 22.11.2007

  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls for Khmer Youth to Participate in Solving National and Social Issues
  • Co-Defense Lawyers for Khiev Samphan Will Ask for Their Client to Stay Outside Detention with Bail
  • Forest Crimes Still Strongly Persist in Kratie and Kompong Cham because Officials Are Corrupt

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6199, 22.11.2007

  • The Second Day of Pre-Trail: Public Opinion Says for Safety Before Trial, “Duch” Must Stay in Detention
  • Woman Arrested on Accusation of Trafficking Khmer Women to Sell Their Virginity in Thailand [Sihanoukville]
  • President Mr. George W. Bush: Ms. Hilary Clinton Is a Strong Female Candidate

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3318, 22.11.2007

  • [Ieng Sary’s wife] Ieng Thirith Once Said that Killing of People during Khmer Rouge Regime Was Ordered by Hanoi
  • President of Constitutional Council Closes Eyes to Decide to Maintain 2,033 Yuon [Vietnamese] Nationals’ Names on 2008 Voters’ List

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4443, 22.11.2007

  • Cambodia and China Will Celebrate 50th Year of Friendship Anniversary Next Year
  • Investors of Shandong, China, Invest in Rubber Plantation in Cambodia
  • H.E. Bun Rany Hun Sen: AIDS Never Forgets Us
  • Canadia Bank Marks Its 16th Anniversary
  • Three Gang Members Tie Two Women Up and Then Rape Them [one gang member is arrested – Moung, Battambang]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #558, 22.11.2007

  • Ranariddh Attracts Son Soubert [to leave Human Rights Party]; He Reveals Secret about Keo Remy [vice-president of Human Rights Party]… It Is Sensitive [Keo Remy allegedly obeyed Hun Sen’s order to join the Human Rights Party]
  • Lao Mong Hay [researcher of Asian Human Rights Commission] Says Re-Trial of Ieng Sary Will Not Affect Samdech Euv’s [the Father King’s] Name
  • Ministry of Interior Attempts to Change Chief of Pate Commune, a Sam Rainsy Party Member [the commune chief is jailed, allegedly for political reasons]
  • Hun Sen Should Watch so that the [Korean] CAMKO City Company Will Not Deceive Khmer People Like the Long Chhin Company Did

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Wednesday, 21.11.2007: On the Day of the Hearing of Duch: People Condemn His Lawyer

Posted on 22 November 2007. Filed under: Week 535 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 535

“Phnom Penh: On 20 November, the first steps of the pre-trial of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in Cambodia were taken, in order to try the former Khmer Rouge leaders who are still alive.

“Kaing Guek Eav known as Duch, the former chief of the Tuol Sleng Prison of the Democratic Kampuchea regime, had a hearing held by the tribunal, to deal with the complaint of his lawyers in order to bail release him on bail.

“Before the hearing, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia [ECCC] announced it publicly, so that citizens could come to hear the co-judges’ decision on Duch’s fate.

“Buses, which are sponsored by the tribunal, waited for the citizens who want to listen to the hearing, opposite the royal railway station before 7 a.m. in order to carry them.

“Officials at the ECCC checked everybody coming very strictly with scanners, to search for weapons and explosive ordnance. Not fewer than 200 national and international journalists, and approximately 300 citizens from every background, entered the building of the tribunal.

“A building for detaining the five former Khmer Rouge leaders is toward the southeast of the hearing hall. Although the building is next to the hearing hall, Duch was not allowed to walk into the courtroom.

“The national and international journalists who attempted to take pictures of Duch walking out of the detention building were forbidden to do so, while Duch was carried in a car with the windows closed.

“Firstly, all the citizens and journalists had assumed that they would be allowed to enter the hearing hall in order to see Duch’s face, but they were not allowed; only ten representatives of the citizens and two journalists entered the hearing hall; however, the journalists were not allowed to bring in cameras, telephones, and recorders; they could bring in only pens and notebooks. Besides that, there were only judges, co-judges, co-prosecutors, and judges’ clerks.

“As to the other large number of journalists and citizens, they had only a chance to view and listen to the hearing in another room, which has about 500 chairs and two big TV screens transmitting from Duch’s hearing hall. Moreover, the citizens and journalists who attended the hearing, which was interpreted into three languages -Khmer, English, and French – could hear only via earphones.

“At about 10:30 a.m., the hearing started. Duch was sent into the curved wooden dock; then the journalists were allowed to take pictures of Duch for about ten minutes only.

“Judge Huot Vuthy started to read in detail the background of Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch, before allowing a co-judge to question Duch directly, who was standing behind the curved wooden dock. A judge asked Duch about the history of his many names and asked Duch to explain some other elements of his background publicly. At that time, he stood up and placed his hands together for a traditional greeting with a sad face, looking at the judges and the participants of the hearing. Duch did not answer much, and then he asked for permission from the judges to let his lawyer, Mr. Kar Savuth, answer in detail.

“A few minutes later, the co-judges allowed his lawyer to explain further and to read a brief text about Duch’s background.

“Mr. Kar Savuth, who is a defense lawyer of Duch, started to argue against the co-judges, in order to bail his client out. Mr. Kar Savuth accused the Military Court and the ECCC of illegally and unjustly detaining his client [because he was held in detention longer than 6 months without facing a court – the longest time that the law allows].

“The lawyer said that if one counts since the day of the arrest of his client on 10 May 1999 until now, Duch has been detained for eight years, six months, and ten days already. The lawyer also demanded again and again that the ECCC must therefore release him immediately.

“On the other hand, the citizens, who had come to listen to the hearing via the televised transmission, were astonished and mocked the lawyer Kar Savuth, saying that the lawyer seems to intend to defend the chief murderer, so they do not support him. Other citizens shouted, asking where the lawyer’s relatives, children, nieces, and nephews were during the Democratic Kampuchea regime.

“However, some people asked those citizens to calm down, because normally a defense lawyer does not discriminate against any individual, whether they are a bad person or even a murderer. When they defend someone, they always try to find out any reason so that their client can be bailed out. Nevertheless, to be bailed out or to be jailed, depends on the co-judges’ and prosecutors’ decision at the end of the hearing.

“The co-judges affirmed that according to a new Article 39, Duch may be sentenced from five years’ to life imprisonment.

“Mr. Kar Savuth asked the hearing to decide whatever possibility exists to bail his client out urgently; if his client is not bailed out, they should please explain clearly whether the detention of his client so far is right or wrong, and if it is considered to be right, on which articles of law it is based.

“Mr. Tin Manyah, a Khmer-Muslim, said, ‘I am not happy with the attorney because he defends this murderer to be bailed out. I think if Duch is allowed to stay outside of the prison, it means that this murderer may want the kill citizens freely again. My relatives were killed by Duch in the S-21 prison, presently known as Tuol Sleng prison.’

“Mr. Tin Manyah stated that the lawyer said the detention of Duch is unjust; whereas Duch’s actions – to detain hundreds and thousands of people and to kill prisoners in Tuol Sleng prison, where bones are piled up like a mountain – is that fair? Thus, if the lawyer wants Duch to be bailed out, he rather should be jailed instead. He wants Duch to be detained in prison for all his life.

“Mr. Chorn Sophal, a student from the Royal University of Phnom Penh, said, ‘I want the hearing to try Duch, the former chief of Tuol Sleng prison, and to detain him in the tribunal; though I was not yet born during the Democratic Kampuchea regime, through documents and from my relatives, I know what they told me: that Duch was very cruel when he was the chief of Tuol Sleng prison. I still hope he will be kept in jail as the hearing has not ended.’

“As for the national and international journalists, they are very interested in information about the hearing by the ECCC. Some journalists got only a picture of Duch, and then rushed to send it out; as for the CNN and BBC networks, they also broadcast live immediately.

“The hearing started from the morning until 5 p.m., but the results have not been known, because the hearing will continue at 9 a.m. the next morning.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1498, 21.11.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Deum Ampil, Vol.2, #44, 21-27.11.2007

  • Royal Government Decides to Cancel Investment [in resort] of Phanimex Company on 200 Hectares of Land in Ponhea Leu [Kandal – because this investment would affect a water current and a water reservoir]
  • Human Rights Party Is Prevented by Authorities from Erecting Signboard in Phsar Chas Subdistrict [as reason for preventing this, the authorities said they do not allow the party to erect its signboard in a public place of their territory – Daun Penh, Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1498, 21.11.2007

  • On the Day of the Hearing of Duch: People Condemn the Lawyer
  • 91 People Die in Religious Violence in Pakistan

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #527, 21.11.2007

  • Funcinpec Leaders Go to Local Level; They Boast about Hun Sen’s Achievements Only
  • Cambodian People’s Party Forces People to Get Its Membership Cards Issued in Kompong Cham
  • A French Embassy Official Tells Hor Namhong to Tighten Security in Phnom Penh [after a French embassy female staff member was killed by a bus when she had her purse snatched by pickpockets, and she fell down from a moto taxi]
  • [Kompong Thom] Provincial Governor Nam Tum Looks Down on Khmers by Saying “Four Hard Working Khmers Cannot Be Compared to One Yuon [Vietnamese]”

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.1, #56, 21.11.2007

  • Ms. Pong Chiv Kek [Dr. Kek Galabru – director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights]: Thousands of Khmer Women Suffer [domestic] Violence Every Day

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6198, 21.11.2007

  • Suspect of Robbery at Phone Shop in Stung Meanchey Killed by Mob; He Could Not Escape, He Begged for His Life, but He Was Beaten to Death by the Mob [20 November – Meanchey, Phnom Penh]
  • Car Overtook Another Car, It Hit a Truck and Exploded: Five People Dead and Twelve Injured [Tboung Khmum, Kompong Cham]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3317, 21.11.2007

  • Poipet Border Crossing Officials Are Seriously Corrupt in Issuing Border Passes

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.14, #1250, 21.11.2007

  • [Korean] President of a Company Taking Laborers to [South] Korea Hangs Himself [probably he lost in gambling – Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4442, 21.11.2007

  • Government Decides to Put Three Rubber Plantations [Boeng Ket, Chamkar Andoung, and Memut – Kompong Cham] for Private Companies to Bid
  • 20% of Cambodian Children under Eight Years Old Die [per year] because of Lack of Sanitation [according to Ministry of Rural Development]
  • Truck Transporting Smuggled Fuel Hits a Taxi: Five People Dead and Twelve Injured [Tboung Khmum, Kompong Cham]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #557, 21.11.2007

  • Sam Rainsy Supports UN to Take Economic Sanctions against Burmese Dictators

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Tuesday, 20.11.2007: Cambodian Prime Minister Blames Western Countries for Sanctions against Burma; As for Laos, It Opposes the Sanctions

Posted on 21 November 2007. Filed under: Week 535 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 535

“During the participation in the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore, the Cambodian and the Laotian Prime Ministers blamed the western countries that impose economic sanctions against Burma.

“According to a report by Reuters from 18 November, Samdech Prime Minister of Cambodia and the Laotian Prime Minister opposed the economic sanctions by western countries on Burma, imposed after the authorities of Burma had cracked down on democratic demonstrations in September.

“Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen said in a trade forum on Sunday, ‘Economic sanctions are not good. Western countries will not make the Burmese leaders die, but they will provide a big disaster to the civilians.’

“Mr. Bouasone Bouphanvanh, the Laotian Prime Minister, said, ‘We do not accept sanctions or economic embargoes against Burma.’

“The reactions of the two leaders were made public when they traveled to Singapore to participate in the 13th ASEAN Summit, to be conducted from 18 to 21 November.

“Burma is also a member of ASEAN, though it has been ruled by a military regime for nearly 20 years. Sanctions by western counties, especially by the United States, were imposed in October, after the regime in Burma suppressed democratic demonstrations led by monks, during which 15 people were killed.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4441, 20.11.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.1, #19, 20-21.11.2007

  • Luxury Wood Traders Use New Method to Transport Wood from Forests by Helicopter; Chan Sarun [Minister of Agriculture] and Mok Mareth [Minister of Environment] Are Asleep [mocking – information according to an unnamed source]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1497, 20.11.2007

  • Samdech Euv [the Father King] Recalls Justice Provided by the Cambodian People’s Party for the Throne
  • Khiev Samphan Taken from Hospital to the [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal to Be Informed about the Charges
  • Mr. Kem Sokha [President of the Human Rights Party] Officially Rejects Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh’s Request [for joining with other parties]
  • Kompong Tralach District Forestry Officials Extort $1,900 from Three Cars Transporting Luxury Wood [Kompong Chhnang]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6197, 20.11.2007

  • Perpetrators Who Shot a Teacher to Death and Raped His Girlfriend [in Samaki Meanchey, Kompong Chhnang] Arrested
  • Cambodian Scouts Prepares to Go Camping in Oral Mountain, Kompong Speu
  • Interruption of IT System Delays Issuing of Motorcycle License Plates More Than One Month [Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3316, 20.11.2007

  • Khiev Samphan, Last Khmer Rouge Leader, Is Arrested; Hearing of Duch Is to Be Held This Tuesday Morning
  • Mr. Sam Rainsy Concerned about [former] Khmer Rouge Leaders Who Have Been Detained, for Fear that They Might Be Killed by Injections
  • Four Other Khmer Krom Monks [in Banteay Meanchey] Face Accusations Like Tim Sakhan [who has been defrocked on accusation of having perpetrated an offense against the Buddhist law, because he is accused to have destroyed the harmony between Vietnam and Cambodia, now jailed in Vietnam]
  • Government Sells Sites of Three Departments of Ministry of Labor under the Pretext of Exchanging Them for Other Properties
  • Corrupt Municipal Police Increase Armed Robberies

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4441, 20.11.2007

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Blames Western Countries for Sanctions on Burma; As for Laos, It Opposes the Sanctions
  • Khiev Samphan Arrested and Sent to Khmer Rouge Tribunal

  • Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3190, 20.11.2007

    • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Welcomes that More Than 1,000 Activists from Different Parties Join the Norodom Ranariddh Party in Prey Veng
    • People Criticize Government for Allowing Kompong Cham Authorities to Fill Up the Huge Lake Beong Snay

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    Monday, 19.11.2007: Three Journalists of Samleng Santepheap in Kompong Chhnang Arrested by Police

    Posted on 19 November 2007. Filed under: Week 535 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 535

    “Kompong Chhnang: Three journalists stationed in Kompong Chhnang were arrested by police from the Baribour District on the morning of 17 November 2007, on the accusation of robbery.

    “The journalists of Samleng Santepheap who were arrested are:

    1. Thang Channa, male, 44
    2. Lim Tho, male, 32
    3. Pen Rithy, male, 37

    Three of them have their residences in Ponley, Baribour, Kompong Chhnang.

    “The three journalists of Samleng Santepheap were arrested by the police of Baribour District. When they were summoned by the police for questioning at the Baribour District Police Station at 10 a.m. on 17 November, they were sent to Kompong Chhnang Police Station at 15:20 on the afternoon of the same day.

    “Mr. Hem Heang, Baribour District Police Inspector, could not be reached by Rasmei Kampuchea for comment regarding the arrest of the three journalists, because his phone was not connected, but a policeman from the Criminal Police Office said that the arrest of the three journalists is based on a complaint by Hvieng Yang Kong [phonetic], a 32-year-old Vietnamese man living in Chhnok Tru, Baribour.

    “The police said at 11 a.m. on 16 November 2007 that the three journalists entered and searched Hvieng Yang Kong’s house while he was out, causing a loss of Riel 4,200,000 [approx. US$1,050]; this happened in Phat Sanday, Kompong Svay, Kompong Thom.

    “The three journalists, Mr. Thang Channa, Mr. Lim Tho, and Mr. Pen Rithy, who were arrested, told Rasmei Kampuchea on the morning of 16 November 2007 that they are journalists of Samleng Santepheap; they went to report on the destruction of inundated forests and fishing crimes in Chhnok Tru, Baribour, Kompong Chhnang, and in Phat Sanday, Kompong Svay, Kompong Thom. While collecting information to make reports, they saw a cage and climbed up the cage in order to take pictures. They asked neighbors for the name of the owner of the cage. After taking pictures and asking for information, they left again.

    “The three journalists added that the accusation against them and their arrest is not right, because they did not enter and seek out anything in Hvieng Yang Kong’s house, but they only climbed up the cage in order to take pictures.

    “According to another source, the Vietnamese man Hvieng Yang Kong has a floating house at Chhnok Tru. There, the authority is strict.

    “Until 16:30 on the evening of 17 November, the Criminal Police Office of the Kompong Chhnang Police Station still questioned the three journalists.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4440, 18-19.11.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Monday, 19 November 2007

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1496, 18-19.11.2007

    • Man, Whose Oxcart Was Hit [and damaged] by Another Oxcart, Was Chased by Police and They Fired a Gun at Him; He Escaped from His House for One Night [all this because of a complaint through telephone by a rich man who is another oxcart owner’s older brother – Rolea B’ier, Kompong Chhnang]
    • All Grabbers of Forest Land in Ou Treh Subdistrict Are High Officials [Stung Hav, Sihanoukville]
    • Cambodian [French] Woman Fined €1,500 [approx. US$2,200] by a French Court for Kissing a Painting and Staining It with Her Makeup

    Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #311, 18-19.11.2007

    • [Takeo Governor] Mr. Srey Ben Receives Bribes from Yuon [Vietnamese] Businesspeople and Allows Them to Fish, Destroying Khmer Fish in Takeo

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6196, 19.11.2007

    • Prince [Ranariddh] Insists on [monarchists and democrats] Joining Together
    • Sihanoukville Forestry Administration Plans to Expropriate 1,270 Hectares of [forest] Land [grabbed by rich and powerful people] in Ou Treh
    • Gold Seller, Who is Also Money Changer, Robbed of More Than $100,000 [Chamkar Mon, Phnom Penh]

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3315, 19.11.2007

    • Mr. Sam Rainsy Reaffirmed that It Is Not Necessary to Join with the Norodom Ranariddh Party

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4440, 18-19.11.2007

    • Three Journalists of Samleng Santepheap in Kompong Chhnang Arrested by Police
    • National Authority for Preventing Nuclear, Chemical, and Biological Weapons and Radiation Receives Office Supplies from [South] Korean Company [Sumhung – phonetic – (Cambodia) Company Limited; probably related to Ministry of Defense, Department of Chemical Protection, under Lieutenant General Chey Son]
    • Iran Wants Creation of Mixed Committee with Cambodia [for cooperation in economy and tourism]
    • 37 Jerry Cans of Fake Alcohol Mixed with Water Burned [by military police – Pursat]
    • 1,100 People Die in Storm in Bangladesh

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #555, 18-19.11.2007

    • [President of National Assembly] Heng Samrin Tells Diplomats that He Has Not Yet Memorized New Royal Title Given

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    Week 534 – Sunday,2007-11-18: Again Dealing with the Law

    Posted on 19 November 2007. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 534 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 534

    Some people are tired to deal again and again with questions of the role and the rule of law, others appreciate what we often take such questions up in the Mirror, because, obviously, the law is crucial to establish a “society based on the rule of law.” This means that in Cambodia, based on the Constitution, not power and violence decide what is right and wrong. Instead, legally defined procedures show for all citizens – in government, in the courts, in the National Assembly and in local administrative councils, and for citizens in general – a framework within which to function.

    The big events of the week in the legal field were, of course, the new steps taken by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal: new arrests, and the preparation of public hearings. We have several translations of related reports.

    The announcement of a new draft law by the Ministry of Interior, “which is the most important and the main goal of the decentralization and deconcentration reforms,” surely does not as easily capture public attention. It sounds as if it were only to regulate some technical details of the administration of the country. But its goal is “to strengthen the effectiveness of a unified administrative management system at the lower national level, which the basic goal to improve good governance and local development.” If this law is accepted and put into practice, it will initiate a new era in the history of the country: it will make the system of electing in and electing out people to carry public responsibility to the local level, where the people actually live together, know each other, and can regularly and directly observe how those whom they entrusted with public tasks perform in office.

    The next elections for the National Assembly in 2008 are, of course, also an exercise, where the people elect their representatives into the institution which makes new laws and changes old ones, and also decides how the national resources – natural resources and financial resources – shall be allocated. But these processes, though they have a direct impact on the daily life of the citizens, are somewhat more difficult to evaluate from a distance, and require attention and study in order to understand what happenes and why, and what the consequences are.

    Some administrative processes will be more and more delegated from the center towards the places where the people live. This is the purpose of the decentralization and deconcentration reforms, dealing with problems faced and solutions sought – and found or not found – which do not happen far away.

    When Cambodia will implement this process of bringing democracy to the local level, it will be ahead of a number of other countries in the region and in the world, which have not embarked onto similar new roads. The provision of Article 51 of the Constitution, that “the Cambodian people are the masters of their own country. All power belongs to the people. The people exercise these powers through the National Assembly, the Senate, the Royal Government and the Judiciary” may become more visible. The Ministry of Interior is aware that there are still some legal adjustments necessary, so that the administrative structures at the lower levels are brought into harmony with this new legislation.

    Another report reminds us all that whatever good laws we have, they are useful only if the law is followed, and when necessary enforced. The following was also reported during the week:

    “Son of a Police General Drinks Nine Mugs of Beer; He Pulls out a Short Gun and Points it at Other People in a Restaurant”

    The person who had used a gun to threaten others with a lethal weapon and his friend were arrested. Law enforcement worked, and whenever this happens in response to criminal violence, we can be confident that this society is making fundamental progress.

    But then, this hope vanished again: it was also reported that the two perpetrators were subsequently released after a high ranking official had intervened.

    The Prime Minister had repeatedly warned that there would be no longer tolerance for such violations of the law, irrespective of the social or military of financial status of the perpetrators or their family members.

    We are looking forward to read if, and what kind of continuation these events will have.

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    Saturday, 17.11.2007: A Koh Kong Deputy Military Commander Detained on Accusation of Clearing Forest to Grab Land

    Posted on 18 November 2007. Filed under: Week 534 |

    The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 534

    “Phnom Penh: A Koh Kong deputy military commander, who is involved in grabbing more than 360 hectares of land in a prohibited area in Srae Ambel, Koh Kong, was detained by a court order and put in prison temporarily, in order to wait for further investigations, on the accusation of clearing forest to grab public state land, and destroying the natural environment.

    “The Koh Kong deputy military commander Ream Lina was arrested and sent immediately from Koh Kong to Phnom Penh by National Military Police officials on 15 November 2007, based on a warrant by Mr. Chiv Keng, the president of Phnom Penh Municipal Court.

    “In the same afternoon, the Military Police forces sent the Koh Kong deputy military commander to Phnom Penh Municipal Court to for questioning according to legal procedures, but as it was already dark, the court left him for one night with Military Police officials, in order to wait to continue questioning him on 16 November 2007.

    “At that time, the court continued to question the Koh Kong deputy military commander, with the participation of Mr. Lim Vanna, a defense lawyer. The court questioned him until after 12 at noon. then the military police officials brought him downstairs in order to put him in a car and send him back [to the Municipal Court]; the deputy military commander used a newspaper to hide his face.

    “After the military police officials had sent him out, a report was shared that said that the court had decided to detain the Koh Kong deputy military commander temporarily in prison while waiting for an investigation to find out his partisans, on the accusation of clearing forest to grab public state land and of destroying the natural environment.

    “The reason which led to the arrest of the Koh Kong deputy military commander was not revealed officially by any source; however, it was hinted that he might be involved with the grabbing of 361 hectares of land in the prohibited area in Chi Kha Kraom commune, Srae Ambel, Koh Kong.

    “According to another source, Mr. Ream Lina, the Koh Kong deputy military commander, had bought the land from the people in the prohibited area in 2002. But actually, a sub-decree had been issued by the Royal Government of Cambodia for that area to be kept as reserved state land since 1991. Therefore, officials prepared documents to send them to the court to take legal action.

    “It should be noticed that recently the Royal Government has started a campaign to crack down on the crime of frequently grabbing state land. In the meantime, the court had arrested Mr. Meas Savoeun, a deputy provincial governor of Preah Vihear, who is involved in clearing forest to grab land in the Ou Chheu Teal area, Preah Vihear. Then the arrest of the Koh Kong deputy military commander followed.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4439, 17.11.2007

    Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
    Saturday, 17 November 2007

    Chakraval, Vol.15, #2731, 17.11.2007

    • Ministry of Interior Police Burn Nearly 1,000 Liters of Mreah Prov [large softwood tree] Oil after Confiscating It [Kandal]
    • Ou Chrov [Cambodia] and Aranyaprathet [Thailand] Join Together for Cleanliness at Border Crossing [officials and people from both districts swept together]

    Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1495, 17.11.2007

    • Mr. Sar Kheng: Khiev Samphan Is Founder of the Collective System in the Killing Fields Regime
    • Son of a Police General Drinks Nine Mugs of Beer; He Pulls out a Short Gun and Points it at Other People in a Restaurant [Siem Reap – he and his friend were arrested – and then released with the help from a high ranking official in Phnom Penh]
    • Gang Members Quarrel with Each Other and Throw a Grenade; Two of Them Are Seriously Wounded [Moung, Battambang]
    • Trees Are Still Illegally Cut Every Day in Kulen District [Preah Vihear]
    • In Nigeria, 785 Robbers Were Killed [in last three months]
    • Storm Kills 41 People in Bangladesh

    Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6195, 17-18.11.2007

    • US Considers Aid to [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal
    • A Foreigner, Who Lost in Gambling, Broke a Poipet Casino Glass Window and Jumped Down from the 16th Floor to Committee Suicide

    Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3314, 17-18.11.2007

    • Khiev Samphan Says Water Gets Slowly Clear
    • [US Ambassador] Joseph A. Musomeli Considers Detention of [former] Khmer Rouge Leaders to Be Onward Move of the Tribunal
    • Mr. Eng Chhay Ieng [secretary-general of the Sam Rainsy Party] Calls for Authorities to Stop Using Violence in Solving Land Disputes

    Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4439, 17.11.2007

    • A Koh Kong Deputy Military Commander Detained on Accusation of Clearing Forest to Grab Land
    • Ieng Sary and Ieng Thirith Demand Evidence as the Tribunal Decides on a One-Year Detention
    • Boeng Mealea Lake Community Forest to a Large Extent Grabbed, and Trees Are Illegally Cut [Svay Leu, Siem Reap]

    Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3188, 17.11.2007

    • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Sends Two Separate Letters to Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, Asking Them to Consider a New Movement of Joining Together
    • Club of Cambodian Journalists Vows to Help Journalists to Be Free from Lawsuits

    Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #554, 17.11.2007

    • A Family of Sam Rainsy Party Members [who had been attacked to be killed three times] in Kompong Thom Granted Political Asylum in the USA
    • Police Chief [Touch Naroth, Phnom Penh police commissioner] Admits that 2 to 3% of Police Receive Bribes from Criminals
    • Approximately 4 Million Citizens Will Come to Phnom Penh to Visit the Boat Races [during Water Festival]
    • Parliamentarian Eng Chhay Ieng Condemns Killing and Arresting of Citizens and Burning of Their Houses in Land Disputes in Preah Vihear
    • Economic Growth of Two Digits and Increase of the Number of Beggars in Phnom Penh Go Side by Site

    Go to last week’s editorial

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