Week 535

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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