Archive for August 13th, 2009

Samdech Dekchor Criticized that Internationals Should Not Tie His Hands to Let Opponents Box Him – Thursday, 13.8.2009

Posted on 13 August 2009. Filed under: Week 625 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 625

“Phnom Penh: On 12 August 2009, Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen blasted the international community and asked them to stop trying to impose standards which project a contrast between the government’s and the opposition’s rights.

“Samdech reacted after some international organizations considered the increasing number of lawsuits between the opposition and government officials, including himself, as suppression of the freedom of expression.

“During the granting of degrees to 1,312 students of the Royal University of Law and Economics in the morning of 12 August 2009, Samdech used strong words referring to foreigners, ‘Please do not tie up my hands to let me be boxed. I don’t agree. It is time that all foreigners abstain from this.’

“Samdech Dekchor demanded foreigners to recognize his right as a citizen, and he encouraged them to stop to recognize only the right of the opposition and to reject the right of the ruler. Samdech consideres that those who do not recognize his right as a citizen do not know the law. Samdech asked, ‘Do you recognize that I am a citizen? Why do I lose my rights?’ He added that his rights were not lost when he became prime minister. Therefore, he just protected his own right when he lodged a complaint.

“Aiming at the Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Ms. Mu Sochua [without using her name], who lost a defamation case at the municipal court, Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen said he was sued first, but when he sued back, some shouted that this is unjust. Samdech asked, ‘But who lodged the complaint fist, and even held a press conference?’ [which identifies Ms. Mu Sochua]

“Samdech asked all foreigners to check clearly who started the complaint. Samdech said, ‘Please look carefully to see who started the first lawsuit. If nobody would have sued me, I would not have sued back.’

“Recently lawsuits between government officials and opposition politicians have increased significantly, and some international organizations and foreigners had criticized that the court systems is used to muzzle the freedom of expression and opposition politicians. Some foreigners had made such criticism after the National Assembly had withdrawn immunity of two opposition party parliamentarians, Ms. Mu Sochua and Mr. Ho Vann, over separate defamation cases. The best known complaint is the legal war between Samdech Hun Sen and Ms. Mu Sochua, who finally was decared guilty by the Municipal Court for defamation against Samdech Dekchor Hun Sun, and was ordered to pay Riel 8 million in compensation, and Rile 8.5 million as a fine to the state [together approx. US$4,100].

“Samdech Hun Sen had decided to sue Ms. Mu Sochua, after she held a press conference announcing her intention to sue Samdech Hun Sen.

“Ms. Mu Sochua held a press conference at the Sam Rainsy Party Headquarters on 23 April 2009, announcing that she would file a complaint against Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, in relation to what he had said in Kampot on 4 April 2009. Ms. Mu Sochua accused Samdech Hun Sen of destroying her honor by using the word ‘strong leg’ to refer to her [which may also be used to point to a prostitute]. After the conference, an advisor of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen and senior minister, Mr. Om Yentieng, announced the plan to sue Ms. Mu Sochua. That press conference had kickstarted the legal war between Ms. Mu Sochua and Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen. On 27 April 2009, complaints of Ms. Mu Sochua and of Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen were delivered to the court. Each side sued the other for defamation. But after some deliberations, the court decided on 10 June 2009 not to deal with the complaint of Ms. Mu Sochua.

“As for Mr. Ho Vann, he had been sued by senior military officials, and the National Assembly also withdrew his immunity, because he had criticized the degrees of senior military officials, gained in Vietnam, as [academically] not so valuable. Mr. Ho Vann denied that he had said that.

“These two cases, together with the lawsuits against the editors-in-chief of two opposition newspapers, Moneaksekar Khmer and Khmer Machas Srok, resulted in some criticism that the government is suppressing the freedom of expression by creating fear to express opinions according to democratic usage.

“Some such criticism was also expressed by officials from the European Union who had voiced their concerns about the freedom of expression in Cambodia. Samdech Hun Sen said that the European Union would not issue such a statement. What had happened was simply that some European Union officials expressed their opinion. But if the European Union would make such a statement, Samdech will react against it to protect his rights.

“Samdech suggested that if one plays, one should not get angry, and if one gets angry, one should not play. As for him, he will respond to his opponents following whatever means his opponents choose – the law, the military, and politics. But Samdech thinks that it would be better to compete by means of development. Samdech explained that if they dare to build ten wells, he will dare to build twenty, and if they dare to build twenty, he will build forty, and continue building until there are wells everywhere in the country.

“Samdech went on to say that he is famous, having won the elections because of having being cursed by his opponents. With the popularity he has achieved, Samdech said that he will be prime minister until 2023. Samdech explained that in the next elections, if the Cambodian People’s Party loses 10 seats, and in the next and the next elections, if the party loses one more seat, and in 2023 10 more seats, the Cambodian People’s Party will still win the elections, because at present, the Cambodian People’s Party controls 90 of the 123 seats of the National Assembly, while to form a government, it needs to have only 50% plus one seat.

“Samdech mocked the opposition, ‘Thus, please you, opposition politicians, everybody, check your age.’ He added that according to their present age, he will be able to accompany them, because the members of his family line can live very long, they get mostly over 90 years old.”Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4971, 13.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 13 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #261, 13.8.2009

  • Forestry Administration Chief Scolds Provincial Authorities Countrywide over Forest Destruction [Minister of Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry Chan Sarun said that there is forest clearance to claim land as private ownership are progressing on 577,547 hectares, and 281,108 hektares of privately claimed land have been expropriated back to the government. The head of the Forestry Administration blames local authorities, who see that forest clearance is conducted by local authorities, but not by the heads of the forestry administration offices]
  • Duch Called for Torture against Him as Punishment, if Possible
  • Hun Sen Shows a Firm Position to Follow Mu Sochua to the End [as she appealed against the municipal court’s verdict]
  • The Prime Minister Calls On Drivers of Motorbikes That Have Not Paid Tax to Pay It at Police Stations
  • A Man Was Killed in a Robbery [for his motorbike], and His Body Was Thrown into a Lake – the Authorities Arrested Six Suspects [Phnom Penh]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2021, 13.8.2009

  • Samdech Hun Sen: Vietnam Did Help Liberate Cambodia [from the Khmer Rouge Regime]
  • Vietnamese Investors [of the Vinashin Group] Prepare Capital to Invest in Water Way Transportation and Electricity in Cambodia
  • Costa Rican President [Mr. Oscar Arias] Is Infected with A/H1N1

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6727, 13.8.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: It Is Too Much of Ingratitude to Consider 7 January 1978 as the Day Vietnam Invaded Cambodia

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4971, 13.8.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Criticized that Internationals Should Not Tie His Hands to Let Opponents Box Him
  • Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief [Duch] Encourages Other Khmer Rouge Leaders to Accept Their Guilt
  • Twenty One Ministries Will Release Salaries through Banks

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.16, #3494, 13.8.2009

  • The Authorities Will Take Action against People Sending Porn Images via Phones, and Playing Porn Videos [they will be jailed at least one month and ordered to pay a fine – according to an official of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts – [details of legal basis and procedures not clarified]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1771, 13.8.2009

  • Opposition Party Demands to Organize an Election System Same as That Used during the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) Presence

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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The Appeals Court Upholds the Municipal Court’s Verdict against the Editor-in-Chief of Khmer Machas Srok Who Was Sentenced to Be Imprisoned for One Year and Ordered to Pay Riel 9 Million – Wednesday, 12.8.2009

Posted on 13 August 2009. Filed under: Week 625 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 625

Phnom Penh: In the morning of 11 August 2008, the Appeals Court decided to uphold the verdict of the Municipal Court as remaining valid during the hearing on the appeal by a defense lawyer of the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok, Mr. Hang Chakra, against the verdict of the Municipal Court which sentenced him to jail him one year in jail and ordered him to pay Riel 9 million [approx. US$2,200]. It should be remembered that a few hours after Mr. Hang Chakra’s hearing at the Municipal Court on 26 June 2009, he was arrested in Battambang and sent immediately to Phnom Penh and then to the Prey Sar Prison.

During the hearing, Mr. Hang Chakra appeared at the wooden dock at the Appeals Court, to speak against the one year imprisonment, sentence while he had Mr. Chuong Chou Ngy as his defense lawyer. Considering that the announcement by the Appeals Court to uphold the Municipal Court’s verdict was unacceptable, Mr. Chung Chou Ngy plans to appeal against the decision of the Appeals Court. Mr. Hang Chakra, 55, was prosecuted to serve one year in prison by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, after he had been found accused of defamation and disinformation. Khmer Machas Srok publications in April and May 2008 were related to the Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers, the Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, and to corruption allegations at the Council of Ministers. During the hearing in June 2009, the prosecutor accused the publication, saying it contributes to political instability, as one article said, ‘Mr. Sok An always wants to become prime minister and replace Mr. Hun Sen.

The defense lawyer, Mr. Chuong Chou Ngy, was quoted before the hearing as saying that he was not sure whether his defendant could avoid the prison sentence. He was overheard while talking on the phone with The Cambodia Daily on 11 August 2009, ‘I am not sure whether I can win this case or not.'” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6726, 12.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #260, 12.8.2009

  • Ancient Structures at the Preah Vihear Temple Discovered while Digging at a Channel near the Sambok Khmum Point [Preah Vihear]
  • Military Police Arrested a Drunken Man Who Pointed a Gun at Other People, but in the Morning Bodyguards [of an unknown high ranking official] Came to Intervene to Release Him [Phnom Penh]
  • Earlier the Court Had Claimed Fourteen Containers of Mreah Prov Oil [from a large softwood tree – an important ingredient to produce the ecstasy drug] Were Pure, but Two Months Later, the Court Claimed They Were Not Pure and Mixed with Water [so they can be released – relevant authorities were summoned by the court to check the oil again – Battambang]
  • A Pair of Lovers Died from Poison [committing suicide] because Their Parents’ Disapproval [of their love – Kompong Thom]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2020, 12.8.2009

  • Cambodia Vows to Respect the Rights and Freedoms Guaranteed by Law [according to a report about a meeting between government officials and representatives of the European Union about human rights]
  • America Praises the Improvement in the Conduct of Elections in Cambodia
  • Samdech Hun Sen Welcomes the Creation of a Cambodian-Japanese Association
  • [Former Tuol Sleng Prison chief] Duch Acknowledged the Testimony of a Former Guard that at the S21 Interrogation Center There was Torture by Applying Electricity to the Genitals of Prisoners
  • A Burmese Court Sentenced Ms. Aug San Sui Ky [the Burmese elected democracy leader] to 18 Months of House Arrest

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #636, 12.8.2009

  • The Clinic Soriya Is Being Sued for Intentional Murder of an Infant and for Professional Negligence [the director of the clinic claimed an infant was dead and wrapped the body to give it to the parents, while it was actually alive and was then saved at the Kantha Bopha Hospital]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #466, 12.8.2009

  • The Appeals Court Maintained the Verdict of the Municipal Court to Continue to Detain Mr. Hang Chakra

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6726, 12.8.2009

  • Communities Suffering from Land Disputes from 19 Provinces Come to Lodge Complaints at Different National Institutions [in Phnom Penh]
  • A Third Level Rank Military Police Captain Was Arrested for Drug Smuggling [Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4970, 12.8.2009

  • Brunei Will Buy 1,500 Tonnes of Rice from Cambodia

Note:

Some text – abbreviated – in addition to the headline, above, in Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2020, 12.8.2009, from the report about a meeting between government officials and representatives of the European Union about human rights, reporting the statement of the Cambodian side:

The spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ouch Borith, warmly welcomed a delegation of the European Union led by British Ambassador to Cambodia, Mr. Andrew Mace on 7 August 2009, to exchange opinions on human rights in Cambodia. Mr. Ouch Borith stated the following points about human rights in Cambodia.

  1. Cambodia observes human rights as a general outlook to achieve sustainable development in all sectors. Cambodia encounters many problems, including the task to strengthen multi-party democracy and the rule of law, which need to be implemented step by step.
  2. Never before was Cambodia so committed to protect and to promote human rights according to the law. The presence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the National Human Rights Committee, and national and international non-government organizations which work on human rights, are evidence to prove Cambodia’s commitment to promote human rights.
  3. Democracy in Cambodia depends on the fundamental rights as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, while at present, personal rights, the freedom of expression, and the culture of debate are taking root more deeply in Cambodian society. It must be recognize that the implementation of these rights and freedoms must, in any democratic society, be under the framework of the law.
  4. Laws and regulations about defamation and disinformation exist in general all over the world, especially in modern societies in order to protect and to guarantee the honor of all people. Recent verdicts of Cambodian courts, related to defamation and disinformation, are in accordance with existing laws and the statements therein about those offenses.
    1. The headlines of the most recent statements by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights/Cambodia:

      • High Commissioner calls for action on indigenous people’s rights – 9 August 2009
      • Recent defamation convictions threaten freedom of expression – 5 August 2009
      • OHCHR Cambodia regrets eviction of ‘Group 78’ – 17 July 2009 (including a link to the Basic principles and guidelines on development-based evictions and displacement, from the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing)
      • Development partners call for halt of evictions of urban poor – 16 July 2009
      • Independent expert concerned at threats against lawyers in Cambodia – 01 July 2009 (including a link to the United Nations Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers)

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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