A Rich Man Hit Two Persons to Death, but the Court Freed Him – Friday, 20.8.2010

Posted on 21 August 2010. Filed under: Week 678 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 678

“Phnom Penh: Road traffic police officials brought the son of a rich person who drove a car and fatally hit two persons at 11:00 p.m. on 15 August 2010, in front of house number 5 on Monyreth Boulevard in Damnak Thom village, Stung Meanchey, Meanchey, Phnom Penh, for a hearing in the morning of 19 August 2010 to find justice for the two victim’s families. But as soon as the hearing finished, that man was freed immediately. It was a really lucky result for the son of a rich family.

“During the hearing, Mr. Te Sam Ang was the judge and Mr. Sok Roeun was the prosecutor, along with the presence of the accused, Bun Sokvisal, who was standing in the wooden dock. He is a doctor at a district referral hospital and lives in Prek Boeng village, Ang Snuol, Kandal. The verdict was to sentence him to two years in prison, but it was all suspended and he was fined to pay Riel 3 Million [approx. US$700] to the state, but without any compensation imposed for the two victim’s families.

“It has been said that after the accident, the rich family went to meet the victim’s families to negotiate, and they agreed to pay for the funeral, and to give them money in exchange for the withdrawal of their charges at the court. Maybe this is the reason for the decision of the judge.

“The driver of the car was Bun Sokvisal, the son of a well-known and rich official of the Phnom Penh Municipality. It is not known whether this decision was right or wrong, but usually, if there is a fatal traffic accident, the driver must be detained.

“On 11:00 p.m. on 15 August 2010, a light gray Camry car with the number Phnom Penh 2T-6542, driven by Bun Sokvisal, crashed into a motorbike, killing the driver and a companion.” Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #35, 20.8.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 20 August 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2332, 20.8.2010

  • Victims of Mines and Unexploded Ordnance Increased in the Latest Period [within six months of 2010, there were 158 victims, compared to the same period in 2009, there were 151]
  • Two Construction Workers Were Attacked by [about ten] Gang Teens, They Killed One, and the Other Sustained Serious Injuries [police are trying to identify the perpetrators – Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7039, 20.8.2010

  • The Ministry of Justice Reminded All Municipal Courts of the Code of Ethics for Judges over the Performance of Their Duties [as some judges leave their duties to clerks to investigate without the presence of judges and of prosecutors, which is against the laws]
  • A Man Killed His Mother-In-Law, Wife, Son, and [two] Sisters-in-Law [five persons] and Then Committed Suicide [after he had a dispute with family members, as he was repeatedly caught trying to rape a sister-in-law; three other family members were seriously injured – Svay Rieng]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3963, 20.8.2010

  • Hundreds of Stoung District Residents Protested in Front of the Kompong Thom Municipal Court to Demand the Release of [Sam Rainsy Party activist] Lem Nath Who Is Innocent [she was arrested on the allegation of forging thumbprints]

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #35, 20.8.2010

  • A Rich Man Hit Two Persons to Death, but the Court Freed Him
  • Russian Tycoon [Alexander Trofimov] Apologized to Nineteen Khmer Victimized Girls [over debauchery; some of them are underage]
  • Seventeen Khmer Workers Were Rescued from Malaysia [they suffered from forced labor, working as fishermen and domestic servants]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #241, 20.8.2010

  • The Khmer and Thai Prime Ministers Might Discuss Border Disputes [in Belgium during an Asia-Europe Summit, from 4 to 5 October 2010]
  • [Three] Representatives of Kos Krolor Residents Flee into the Forest [after police surrounded their houses over land disputes with a military police official who tried to evict 415 families from an area of 1,672 hectares to claim land for a rubber plantation – Battambang]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5281, 20.8.2010

  • Trade Unions Announced to Strike in Mid September [from 13 to 14] to Demand a Pay Rise [to between US$75 and US$93 as minimum wage per month; at present it is just US$61]
  • [The Minister of the Council of Ministers] Mr. Sok An Asked South Korea to Help Intercept Illegal Marriages [between Khmer women and Korean men]
  • By 2010, Cambodia Has Been Provided with US$250 Million Grants and Loans [separation and amounts of the two not reported] from South Korea

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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“Cambodian Officials Need Education About Press Freedom” – Monday, 12.4.2010

Posted on 13 April 2010. Filed under: Week 660 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

Because of the Khmer New Year holidays 14 to 16 April 2010, life during this whole week is different; actually, already since Friday last week, music and the voices of people playing special New Year games, and of groups of friends going out together, indicated that the festive season began already.

This affects also publications, and some offices – also the Open Institute – are closed for a week. Our regular publications will therefore start only on Monday, 19 April. But we will supply our readers with some information also during this week.

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 660

Concerned with the situation of journalists in Cambodia, Mr. Moeun Chhean Nariddh, the Director of the Cambodia Institute for Media Studies, Phnom Penh, wrote the following statement, which was published in The Cambodia Daily in the edition of Saturday-Sunday, 10-11 April 2010, from which we quote:

“As media professionals, we are very disappointed at the continued use of the court by Cambodian officials to sue journalists for defamation and disinformation.

“The recent lawsuits respectively brought by police officers in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey provinces against Koh Santepheap newspaper reporters have indicated officials’ lack of understanding of the press freedom enshrined in the Cambodian Constitution.

Article 31 of the Constitution states: ‘The Kingdom of Cambodia shall recognize and respect human rights as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the covenants and conventions related to human rights, women’s and children’s rights…’

Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights explicitly says: ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.’

“Similarly, Article 19 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states:

  1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
  2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; the right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of choice.

“To assert Cambodia’s obligation under these international treaties, Cambodia adopted the Khmer Press Law in 1995.

Article 4 of the Press Law states: ‘Publication of official information such as statements, meetings, meeting minutes or reports etc. may not be penalized if such publication is fully true or an accurate summary of the truth.’

“This is what the reporter in Siem Reap did by quoting a police officer’s report for his story.

“It’s sad that the two reporters in Siem Reap and Banteay Meanchey have been arrested and may face criminal charges of defamation and disinformation, though Article 20 of the Press Law says: ‘…No person shall be arrested or subject to criminal charges as a result of expression of opinion.’

“Of course, journalists may make innocent mistakes in doing their professional work to meet the public’s right to know.

“However, courts need to find two sets of evidence to find journalists guilty of defamation or disinformation.

  • “First, it needs to prove that an article reported is false and defamatory due to a journalist’s negligence or lack of information.
  • “Second, the court must show that the journalist has produced the defamatory article out of his or her malicious intent.

Yet, most journalists are just fulfilling their professional obligation to keep the public informed of what happened, whether it is good or bad news. They do not intend to harm anybody’s reputation though some stories turn out to be false.

“Meanwhile, journalists are bound by the professional code of ethics to balance their reporting as far as a controversial story is concerned.

. . .

“In a separate but related lawsuit, we highly commend the Takeo Provincial Court for acquitting a reporter of Radio Free Asia of criminal defamation and disinformation.

“We hope that the Siem Reap Court officials will follow this good example. We also hope that the Cambodian officials will study journalist’s rights and freedoms enshrined in the laws before another similar lawsuit is brought against another media professional.”

.

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Cambodia Needs US$29 Million for Mine Clearance in 2010 – Monday, 5.4.2010

Posted on 6 April 2010. Filed under: Week 659 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 659

“Phnom Penh: According to an announcement from the Cambodian government on 3 April 2010, Cambodia needs US$29 million for mine clearance in 2010.

“The Cambodian Mine Action Center [CMAC] announced that mine clearance will be carried on five more years, and in 2010, US$29 million is needed, including for mine clearance tools and mine clearance techniques.

“According to the announcement, besides the funds of US$29 million for actual mine clearance, US$13.5 million and US$11 million are reserve funds, and US$1.5 million is still being negotiated with donors. But another US$1 million has not been specified.

“The announcement adds that if fundraising is not successful, 20% of the CMAC personnel of 3,000 persons in total will be dismissed from their respective tasks in 2010.

“In 2010, CMAC plans to finish clearing mines at 423 or 424 development sites of 28,000,000 square meters. At least, 7,000,000 square meters are considered as areas where people could easily become victims from unexploded ordnance and mines – these are considered as core areas

Deum Ampil news center had contacted the CMAC director-general, Mr. Heng Ratana, several times via telephone, but could not reach him.

“It should be remembered that many sites with unexploded ordnance are left from the three decades of civil war. Many landmines have been cleared already since 1998.

“So far, Cambodia has cleared 520 square kilometers from landmines and has found and destroyed 2.7 million explosives, including unexploded ordnance.

“It is estimated that in Cambodia, there are about 670 square kilometers remaining mined which have not yet been cleared.” Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #452, 4-5.4.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 5.4.2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #452, 4-5.4.2010

  • Cambodia Needs US$29 Million for Mine Clearance in 2010
  • The Ministry of Health Asks All Doctors to Respect the Code of Ethics […doctors must provide qualified services for their patients – whether rich or poor – be polite with patients, not be late in providing treatment, and not have other things to do when called to serve a patient…]
  • Leaders of the Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted and fugitive prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Announced They Will Do Whatever to Make [Thai Prime Minister] Abhisit Vijjajiva to Dissolve the Parliament

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2219, 4-5.4.2010

  • Forty Three Families Claimed that Their Farmland of 30 Hectares Was Violated [by soldiers – Oddar Meanchey]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Welcomes the Production of Muslim [Halal] Food for Export [according to a meeting with former Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmad Rithadeen]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6926, 5.4.2010

  • Another General Was Arrested after a Drunken Shootout Where a Foreign Woman Was Wounded [by a bounced bullet – Phnom Penh]
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Arrived in Hua Hin [for a summit meeting of the Mekong River Commission on “Trans-Boundary Water Resources Management in a Changing World”], and Thai Deputy Prime Minister [Mr. Suthep Thaugsuban] Told Thai Journalists that He Had a Talk on the Phone [with Prime Minister Hun Sen]
  • Robbers Drove a Car into a Village to Assault and to Shoot Villagers, Injuring Five and Taking Away Property and Money from Three Houses [Kampot]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #145, 5.4.2010

  • More Than Ten Citizens [among over 400] Were Arrested in a Protest over a Land Dispute [with the Heng Development company as they blocked National Road 2, accusing this company of grabbing their collectively owned land – Kandal Stung, Kandal]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5168, 514-5.4.2010

  • Minister [of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Im Chhun Lim]: The Construction Sector Starts to Recover [after the economic downturn in 2008]
  • FUNCINPEC and the Nationalist Party [former Norodom Ranariddh Party] Mutually Agreed to Establish Ties as Royalist Parties

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