There Is Sex Trafficking via Internet Websites – Saturday, 16.1.2010

Posted on 25 January 2010. Filed under: Week 648 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 648


Note:

The delays in publishing because of my international travel should be over by Tuesday.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: According to a report to sum up the work done in 2009 by the Phnom Penh Municipal Police and to establish directions for the work in 2010, it was fond that, because of poverty and unemployment, human trafficking and sex exploitation continued to increase in Phnom Penh. Most sexual exploitations is done in hotels, guesthouses, massage shops, and Karaoke parlors, and now, there appears a new form of sexual exploitation using Internet based information technology, organizing trafficking through websites on the Internet, to contact and attract children for sex. However, as a result of counter-measure actions, police cracked down in 74 cases; compared to 2008, there was an increase by 29 cases in 2009, and 91 perpetrators were arrested and sent to be dealt with by the courts.

“This report was published during a meeting to sum up the results of security and social order protection operations in 2009, and to establish directions for the work in 2010, organized by the Phnom Penh Municipal Police under the leadership of the Director General of the National Police, Mr. Net Savoeun.

“The report adds that the general trend of criminal offenses still poses complex challenges. Though the authorities tried very hard to handle it, the results were not yet satisfying, especially to find persons being searched, and to investigate persons being searched for which an arrest warrant has been issued, and other search requests, because some criminals escaped and return to Phnom Penh to gather and create new groups and repeatedly commit offenses, before police could finally get hold of them. As for drug concerns, it is also still a challenge for Phnom Penh where many persons that are being searched abuse drugs, including teenage people who secretly use drugs at hotels, guest-houses, or houses for rent, entertainment clubs, and at public places, increasing the number of drug abusers and creating a markets for local distribution to which drugs are supplied by foreign criminals.

“According to this report, there were 392 criminal offenses in 2009; compared to 2008, the number increased by 42 cases. Evidence seized included 13 rifles, 35 pistols, 7 cars, 141 motorbikes, and 11 mobile phones.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6865, 23-24.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 23 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #394, 22.1.2010

  • Malaysia Invests US$107.6 Million in Electricity in Cambodia [110 km north of Phnom Penh]
  • The Phnom Penh Police Chief [Mr. Touch Naruth] Promised to Suppress Gambling [on a daily basis]
  • Supporters of Mr. Obama Drop [from 70%] to 57% one Year after He Took Office

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2158, 23.1.2010

  • Samdech Hun Sen Ordered to Demolish the Chhne Prampi Chon Construction [owned by the wife of the Sihanoukville governor] in Sihanoukville [saying that it can affects the environment and disturbs the relaxation of tourists along the beach]
  • Police Arrested a Norwegian Man for Taking a [15-year-old] Girl to a Guesthouse [Siem Reap]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #587, 23.1.2010

  • The Authorities Do Not Dare to Disclose the Names of the Wood Traders Who Hire Citizens to Cut Trees, but Threaten Citizens That Tried to Prevent Forestry Crimes [like in the northeastern provinces bordering Vietnam]
  • Military Police Arrested Three Nigerian Men for using Fake Dollar Notes

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6865, 23-24.1.2010

  • There Is Sex Trafficking via Internet Websites

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5107, 23.1.2010

  • [A pro-Sam Rainsy Party newspaper] Moneaksekar Khmer Is Allowed to Continue Publishing Again [after it had been closed for one year, as the government had sued it for defamation and disinformation – according to the Minister of Information, Mr. Khieu Kanharith]
  • Cambodia Asked South Korea to Help to Construct a Cambodian-Korean Friendship Bridge [across the Mekong River], but Korea Said They Need to Discuss Details First
  • Vietnam Offers Scholarships to 100 Cambodian Students for 2010

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UNIFEM: Poverty Is Making Cambodia Become a Base for Human Trafficking – Thursday, 17.12.2009

Posted on 17 December 2009. Filed under: Week 643 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

“The International Migrants Day was marked with a promotional meeting on the Legal Protection for Household Servants, organized at the Himawari Hotel by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) and by the Ministry of Labor in the evening of 16 December 2009.

“A press conference focused on migration and human trafficking that are happening because of many factors, leading to trafficking when people migrate. The vulnerability of groups of people who migrate to seek ways necessary for their [economic] survival, and of those who are trafficked, is much alike. But there are significant differences between migration and trafficking. Many people fail to clearly distinguish between migration and trafficking. Police or immigration officials often do not have the operational criteria to make the proper judgments to distinguish between victims of trafficking and migrants. As a result, those who are victims of trafficking as a result of different crimes are mistaken for migrants, and the latter are arrested and repatriated.

“According to a report of UNIFEM and of the Ministry of Labor during the 3rd meeting of a working group of relevant ministries about migration on 9 December 2008, some open questions among many problems need urgent action. They require some more clarification about the reasons leading to human trafficking, among those who fight against human trafficking in Cambodia.

“Cambodia is a country that sends and receives migrating workers. 89,000 workers migrated to Thailand and 11,000 to Malaysia. These are the major destinations of Cambodian workers, and Cambodia also receives a large number of migrant workers: 10,000 from Vietnam and 55,000 from China, among other countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region.

“Cambodia is also used by criminals as a transit point for human trafficking to other countries, especially to the West.

“Even though there is no proof, networks of human trafficking in Asia are extending widely, relating from minor crimes to big organized crime networks. There is no clear estimation agreed upon globally to rightly reflect the number of people who are trafficked in Cambodia. It is difficult to have statistics because of the sensitivity and illegality of the trafficking business, and deficiencies relating to clear definitions of the word ‘trafficking.’

“According to the US Department of State, about 220,000 children and women were trafficked in Southeast Asia. ILO and the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor [IPEC] estimated that 80,000 children and women were trafficked to Thailand for sexual exploitation since 1990. The highest number relates to people from Burma, followed by those from the Province of Yunan in China, and from Laos. There are 500 to 1,000 Cambodian children being used as beggars in Thailand.

“According to figures from the Department of Labor, by 30 November 2009, 22,222 workers – 19,586 women and 2,636 men – migrated to Malaysia to work as household servants, and 14,308 workers – 4,717 men and 9,591 women – migrated to Thailand. This shows that most migrants are Cambodian women.

“Migration is a problem that can lead to human trafficking: the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation is a type of organized crime that is increasing, because traffickers can earn high returns and have low hazards. Thousands of women are being trafficked from Asia.

“It should be remembered that Khmer citizens from various provinces and cities in Cambodia, who are unemployed, migrate to neighboring countries or to some other countries, to seek income to support their families’ livelihood. Unemployment in Cambodia is a factor urging them to decide to migrate and to leave their homes to seek paid employment elsewhere.” Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1835, 17.12.2009

Note:

PRESS RELEASE:

In order to continue the celebration of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) 18 December CARAM Cambodia initiated its celebration since 2006 participated by more than one thousand people with rally and parade and it is a fourth anniversary of International Migrant’ s Day celebration for this year (2009) in Cambodia and 19th anniversary of IMD celebration around the world and it is an opportunity:

  • to recognize the contributions made by millions of migrants to the development and well-being of so many countries in the world;
  • to demand an end to all forms of abuse and violence against migrants and their families and promote respect for their basic human rights;
  • to call on governments around the world to ratify the UN Convention on Migrant Workers;
  • to hold governments accountable with regards to the rights of migrants

A leading NGO-CARAM Cambodia will continue the celebration of International Migrant Day (IMD) 18 December 2009 in Cambodia with the following activities and objectives:

I. Radio Talk Show

  • Radio FM 106.5 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio FM 102.5 from 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio FM 93.75 from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio Free Asia from 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. (18 December 2009);
  • Radio FM 101.25 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (16 December 2009)

II. Press Conference: Was on 16 December 2009

III. Message Delivery through Mobile Phone on IMD Celebration 18 December 2009

CARAM Cambodia will send a message entitled “International Migrant’s Day (IMD)” celebration to many people as we can to celebrate International Migrant Day 18 December 2009.

IV. Objective of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) 2009

The following is the objectives of IMD celebration this year:

  1. Celebrate the fourth anniversary of IMD in Kingdom of Cambodia initiated by CARAM Cambodia in cooperation with National AIDS Authority, Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training (MoLVT), local and international NGOs in Cambodia and participate in the celebration of 19th anniversary of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) around the world after UN General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and after almost a decade of governmental negotiations and relentless advocacy by migrant communities around the world.
  2. Advocate people with decision making power, policy makers and stakeholders to support migration issues so that policies, laws and regulations are reviewed and adopted so as to promote and protect migrant workers’ rights;
  3. Increase public awareness on safe migration in an enabling environment to empower migrant workers to mitigate impacts and vulnerabilities of migrant workers and members of their families.

V. Remarks:

Everybody is encouraged to join Radio Talk Show Program “Together Promoting and Protecting Migrant Workers’ Rights” through call in show to be held in the coming days as mentioned in the above program and please help to disseminate a message “International Migrant’s Day (IMD) to friends, colleagues or whomever you know for the celebration of International Migrant’s Day (IMD) 18 December 2009 in Cambodia and around the world.

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 17 December 2009

Areyathor, Vol.16, #1423, 17-18.12.2009

  • A 26-Year-Old Man Raped His 9-Year-Old Niece Nine Times [he was arrested – Phnom Penh]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #364, 17.12.2009

  • Amnesty International Asked Cambodia Not to Send [22] Uighur People Back to Their Country [the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China]
  • [Two] Robbers Used Only Three Minutes to Rob Gold and Money of More Than US$90,000 [and escaped safely; Phnom Penh]
  • A Drunken Man Rapped His Eight-Year-Old Daughter Twice [he was arrested – Battambang]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2126, 17.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen: Thaksin Would Have Died [or been imprisoning], if There Was No Transfer of Flight [not to fly across Thailand]
  • Hungary Plans to Provide US$50 Million Loan for the Development of Cambodia
  • World Mate Organization Donated US$3 Million to the Cambodia Red Cross for a Period of Ten Year

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #557, 17.12.2009

  • [The Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarian] Mr. Son Chhay Said that the Prime Minister Released the Thai Spy [though the court claimed it had enough evidence to put him in jail], so he Should Release Also the Khmer People Imprisoned over Land Disputes [who were jailed unjustly when just they protested over land grabbing]
  • The Leader of Khmer Kampuchea Krom Asked Top Leaders of the Country to Raise Khmer Kampuchea Krom Issues for Discussion with Nong Duc Manh, [a secretary general of the Communist Party of Vietnam, during his official visit in Cambodia]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6833, 17.12.2009

  • In Cambodia Private Sector Provides Many Jobs Up to 90%
  • The International Labor Organization (ILO) Shown that Economic Crisis Continues to Affect Garment Industry, Making 70 Factories were Closed [in Cambodia and 70,000 workers lost their jobs]
  • Red-Shirt Groups Supporting [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, Entered through the Poipet Border Crossing to Phnom Penh [to visit Mr. Thaksin]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #69, 17.12.2009

  • [The Former Khmer Rough top leaders], Nuon Chea and Ieng Sary, Were Accused of More Crimes of Genocide against Chams [Cambodian Muslims] and Vietnamese
  • The Asian Development Bank Voted Officially to Provide US$42 Million Loan [to Cambodia] to Repair Railroad

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5075, 17.12.2009

  • Samdech Dekchor Called Bangkok’s Comment over the Release of the Thai Spy Stupid [Thailand accused Cambodia of having no proper law by recording the spy’s conversation with the first secretary of the Thai Embassy via phone and said that the release is a farce; Prime Minister Hun Sen denied Cambodia recorded the conversation, but just has the note of the callings]
  • Mr. Thaksin Continues to Help Cambodia with Investment Sector and Tourism

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1835, 17.12.2009

  • UNIFEM: Poverty Is Making Cambodia Become a Base for Human Trafficking

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A Criminal Police Official Did Car Racing Contrary to His Role, and a Car Mechanic Criticized Him and Was Assaulted for It Seriously – Tuesday, 15.12.2009

Posted on 16 December 2009. Filed under: Week 643 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 643

Note:

Apologies for the delay – no electricity yesterday afternoon and evening.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: A deputy director of the lower criminal police office of the Phnom Penh Police was accused by citizens of using violence, and using a pistol to threaten and shoot at a car mechanic, at the Heng Heng car garage, located at House 12, Street 39, Srah Chak commune, Daun Penh district, Phnom Penh, at 7:35 p.m. on 13 December 2009.

“The victim, who was tortured, is Khat Dara – called Chhoam, male, 25. He stays at House 28, Street 216, in Khmuonh commune, Sen Sok district. He is a car mechanic of the Heng Heng car garage.

“Witnesses at the site said that relatives of the owner of the Heng Heng car garage, and mechanics were having dinner. Suddenly, two cars, one a dark green Corolla and the other one a golden ‘Shark’ Camry [popular name as the front part looks like a shark’s head], came racing each other; the drivers seemed heavily drunk. Some said that they raced in the center of Phnom Penh as if it were in a Hong Kong action movie. While the two cars went across the Heng Heng car garage compound, a mechanic, Khat Dara (who later became victimized) shouted to warn children not to cross the road, being afraid an accident might happen. The driver of the Corolla seemed to hear it and stepped on the brake, but was hit by the Shark Camry following from behind, that hit the back of the Corolla, damaging its bumper and number plate. Then the owner of the Corolla stepped out: he is known as the deputy director of the lower criminal police office of the Phnom Penh Police, his nick name is Tivea 06 [‘Anniversary 06’] while the owner of the Shark Camry is a military police official.

“After he came out of his car, strongly smelling of wine, the police officer Tivea 06 shouted, ‘Who shouted at me?’ and the mechanic, Khat Dara, called Chhoam, walked towards this police official to tell him that he had no intention to shout at him, but he just warned the children not to cross the road. In response, Mr. Tivea 06 pulled his two inch pistol, to hit the victim on the head many times, then he kicked the victim very hard, which he should not do, as he is a police official who has to enforce the law. Next, Mr. Tivea 06 and his partner, known as a military police official, dragged the victim into the Chen Dom Dek Pagoda, where he continued to hit him all over, and even tried to shot at him twice, but it was fortunate that the gun did not work.

“A Witness added that as Mr. Tivea 06 got angry because his gun did not work, he then called his fellow police through a walkie-talkie, to come with three motorbikes to the site to handcuff and to take the victim to the lower criminal police office of the Phnom Penh Police.

“A Phnom Penh police official said that when the victim arrived at that station, Mr. Tivea 06 remained angry, and used an electric wire to shock the victim, so that he fainted. After that, probably because the cruel torture was heard by a brigadier of the Phnom Penh Police, Mr. Tivea ordered his fellow police to use a towel to wipe the blood from the victim’s face, and to change his clothes, and to send him by car to the Calmette Hospital.

“Citizens who witnessed the event condemned Mr. Tivea 06, now the deputy director of the Phnom Penh lower criminal police office, saying that he should not be a police official who has to enforce the law. If he is good at assaulting innocent citizen like this, he should go to Preah Vihear, because the government is seeking strong persons to protect the border from many enemies! The family of the victim, of Khat Dara, will lodge a complaint at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to find justice. Citizens at the site of the event shouted loudly that the deputy director of the Phnom Penh lower criminal police office, Mr. Tivea 06, should be a model for citizens in obeying and implementing the law, but he is a cruel person, who actively broke the law, and he should not be allowed to keep on working, as he is such bad model.

Koh Santepheap tried to ask for clarification from Major Neang Sokna, called Tivea 06, in the evening of 13 December 2009, but could not reach him.” Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6831, 15.12.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #362, 15.12.2009

  • The Siamese [Thai] Spy Was Freed, while [the Thai ousted and now fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Came to Visit Hun Sen
  • The First Secretary-General of the Communist Party of Vietnam [Mr. Nông Đức Mạnh – Nong Duc Manh], Will Visit Cambodia on 17 December 2009 [in response to an invitation from the King]
  • Robbers Gunned Down the Wife of a Village Chief, and Took Away Riel 17 Million Safely [approx. US$4,250 – Pursat]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2124, 15.12.2009

  • [The Minister of Industry, Mines, and Energy] Suy Sem: In Late 2011, Electricity Costs in Cambodia Will Be Cheaper [because of the Kamchay hydro-electric dam which will produce 193 megawatts when it operates, and in addition, 200 megawatts from Vietnam will have been connected]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #696, 15.12.2009

  • The Court Requires Sam Rainsy [who is now abroad], to Appear over an Accusation of Destruction of State Property [for removing Cambodian-Vietnamese temporary border makers], and for Creating a Nationalist Incitement

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #555, 15.12.2009

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Arrived at the Border, and Found the Fact that Farmers Had Lost Some of Their Rice Fields [to Vietnam]; Soldiers and Police Armed with Shields and Electric Batons Blocked the Way of the Parliamentarians [to check the temporary border markers]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6831, 15.12.2009

  • A Criminal Police Official Did Car Racing Contrary to His Role, and a Car Mechanic Criticized Him and Was Assaulted for It Seriously
  • The Construction of a Water Pumping Station [in Svay Pak commune, Russey Keo district], Starts, so that the North of Phnom Penh Should No Longer be Flooded [it can pump 50.4 cubic meters per hour, and the construction will be finished within 9 months]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #67, 15.12.2009

  • The Authorities Announced Not to Issue Land Ownership Titles for Some Regions [in Phnom Penh: seven regions in the Tonle Basak commune, Chamkar Mon district, claming that those regions are “complex” – no further explanation]
  • In 2010 Cambodia Will Yield 7.3 Million Tonnes for Paddy Rice, Where 3.2 Million Tonnes Can Be Exported [according to the Ministry of Agriculture]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5073, 15.12.2009

  • The Thai Spy Was Released and Returned to Bangkok after Directly Receiving the Letter of Pardon from Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen at his resident]
  • A Soldier Truck Loaded with Wood Hit People and Overturned Suddenly, Killing Two and Injuring More Than 10 [Siem Reap]
  • The United States Donated a Set of Devices to Scan for Radioactivity, Worth US$3 Million, to the Cambodian Government
  • The Italian Prime Minister’s Nose and Teeth Were Broken because a Miniature Replica of the Milan Cathedral was thrown at him by a man [who was then detained]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1833, 15.12.2009

  • The Authorities Failed to Prevent Citizens and Opposition Party Parliamentarians to Check the Border Markers [in Svay Rieng – they went around the road blocks]

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How can the law be set aside? – Sunday, 13.12.2009

Posted on 15 December 2009. Filed under: *Editorial*, Week 642 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 642

The Mirror is, in principle, an instrument that tries to do what it’s name says: to mirror what is in the news – and a mirror sees everything. It is not selecting what to show and what not to show. This is a high goal for a press review – it cannot be realized in our publication in quantity; but in quality it has to try to reflect major trends, even if some of them contradict each other.

Since some weeks, and with increasing clarity, two different ways to refer to the former Thai prime minister, Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, can be observed:

  • The ousted former Thai prime minister, ousted by a military coup – compared to Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar – his conviction for corruption is considered to be only a politically motivated move, he is considered as having created an economic model that assured him electoral victory, and therefore he is an appropriate adviser on economic affairs for the Cambodian political leadership and for Cambodia – and he is, after all, also an “eternal friend” of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
  • The fugitive former Thai prime minister was found guilty by the Thai Supreme Court and convicted to a two years prison sentence for corruption, helping his wife to buy an expensive piece of land in Bangkok, from public property into personal ownership, and way under the current market price. He had built up his telecommunications network to the strongest economic power outdoing other during his time in office. He therefore could afford to not only deposit a big fund for temporarily staying our of prison on bail, he could also afford to break his promise and lose this money – but he still is rich enough to travel around the world in a private jet aircraft, having achieved a (semi)permanent residence in exile in the financial center of Dubai.

He wielded power in 2003, during the anti-Thai riots which resulted in the ransacking of the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh and the destruction of other Thai property; later it was estimated that US$ 56 million went up in smoke during on night. But it was he who threatened the Cambodian Prime Minister to dispatch Thai paratroopers to Phnom Penh immediately, if the Cambodian government would not start to take action against the rioters within one hour. – Now again he wields power from exile, by successfully appealing to Prime Minister Hun Sen to pardon a Thai citizen accused to have been acting as a spy and convicted to 7 years in prison – most media describe that he did not appeal to the King who has the power to pardon, though the King finally granted the pardon. And this within three days – violating past practice that pardons for persons convicted to prison will only be granted after the prisoner has served at least two thirds of the time in prison – but in this case, only about 1% of the time had been served. No explanation has been given to the public why the Cambodian government is violating the history of it’s own practice.

The Thai government is, of course, obliged to try to implement verdicts of the Thai Constitutional Court, and therefore said it would request again for his extradition, but the Cambodian foreign ministry spokesperson Mr. Koy Kuong said such a demand would be “just a waste of time.” After all, Prime Minister Hun Sen had also said to consider the preset Thai government illegitimate, as it was formed on the basis of coalition agreements and not as a result of a direct popular vote. No wonder that the Thai government and other international observers ask how this can be reconciled with the traditional ASEAN practice of not interfering in the internal political structure of a member country.

A Cambodian Anti-Corruption Draft Law – still kept secret from the public, but already forwarded to the Assembly – has already passed the Cabinet in the morning of 11 December 2009. What will it’s provisions be? It was argued, since October 1993, when a draft first had reached the National Assembly, that an Anti-Corruption law cannot be operated without a new Penal Code. Now, there is a Penal Code.

One may try to imagine what the Cambodian governments reaction would be if another member state of ASEAN, like for example Malaysia, would entertain intensive communication with a major Cambodian opposition party in Cambodia, trying to change Cambodian court decisions

Nobody can hope for a solution by simply combining some arguments from both sides, like saying: “Mr. Thaksin Shinawatra, the criminal convicted by the Thai high court for personal embezzlement, the adviser of the Cambodian government, is now commenting on what a new Anti-Corruption Law should contain. And which kind of violations of laws for personal gain, which kinds of misuse of high level power should be excluded from corruption investigation, when they have been committed by highly placed persons…”

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The Appeals Court Delayed Hearing on Chea Ratha’s Case for the Second Time – Saturday, 7.11.2009

Posted on 8 November 2009. Filed under: Week 637 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 637

“The Appeals Court of Cambodia has delayed a hearing on former national military police officer Chea Ratha over the crime of an acid attack on Ms. Ya Sok Nim, the aunt of Ms. In Soklida, who had a lesbian relationship with Chea Ratha.

“The second delay was made again without giving a clear reason, like it was also with the first delay on 22 October 2009.

“Ms. Ya Sok Nim and her husband had written a letter to the Court of Appeals requesting it to reject the decision of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to release seven suspects that were identified by police as responsible for the acid attack.

“In the judgment, which had been openly criticized by police, a judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, Mr. Din Sivuthy, ruled on 31 August 2009 to release Ms. Chea Ratha and six accomplices allegedly involved in the acid attack against Ms. Ya Sok Nim on 8 May 2008.

“Though there had been a strong challenge from Ms. Ya Sok Nim’s lawyer, the judge Sivuthy mentioned the lack of evidence as the basis for his decision, which was a surprise.

“After the court had pronounced this judgment, Ms. Ya Sok Nim and her relatives held a press conference, during which they re-played a recorded phone conversation, and in this conversation, a woman, identified as Ms. Chea Ratha, was threatening to use serious violence against Ms. Ya Sok Nim and her family. Some days later, she was attacked with acid.

“The Municipal Court has conducted hearings already twice where it finally decided to lift the accusation on two cases of acid attack from Ms. Chea Ratha. Seemingly, because of dollar power and probably a powerful person, the Court of Appeals delayed its hearings twice already.

“Ms. Ya Sok Nim’s letter, published by local newspapers on 25 September 2009, asked the Prosecutor General of the Court of Appeals to find justice for her. Mr. Uong Vibol and Ms. Ya Sok Nim wrote, ‘Your Excellency, to find justice for the victim… I and my wife, who suffers from the cruel activity of criminals… please help to order the prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to accept an appeal against the judgment by a group of judges led by Mr. Din Sivuthy who has lifted the accusations.’

“The crime of this acid attack on Ms. Ya Sok Nim is similar to other cases which happened previously in Cambodia.

“The victim and her family, members of civil society, and observers of the cruel acid attack against Ms. Ya Sok Nim are waiting to see whether the Appeals Court rejects the decision of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court or keeps this unjust judgment valid in the next hearing.

“The decision by a judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court caused the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice to establish a special committee, to review the courts’ work. The creation of this special committee had triggered criticism from people from professions of law and from civil society officials, saying that the government interferes in the institution of the courts.

“However, the Minister of Interior, Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng, wrote to explain to Prime Minister Hun Sen that this new committee just reviews the courts’ work, where there had been frequent information about irregularities by releasing perpetrators.

“Police officials of the Ministry of Interior had complained that the police had tried very hard to arrest perpetrators, but the courts released them. Therefore they wait to see whether Ms. Chea Ratha does have the same fate like Ms. Khuon Sophal or not, the former wife of a high ranking official at the Council of Ministers.

“The life and the appearance of the actress Tat Marina [who suffered also an acid attack] were saved by American doctors. But she and her family had decided to flee from the country in order to wait there for justice to be achieved by the Khmer authorities. They wait to see when the authorities will prosecute Ms. Khuon Sophal and her accomplices.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #524, 7.11.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 7 November 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #330, 7.11.2009

  • The Court Sentenced a Man [Mr. Ruos Sokhet, a journalist of The Globe magazine] Who Threatened Mr. Soy Sopheap to Serve Two Years in Prison [for distributing disinformation by sending disparaging telephone text messages to the president of the Cambodia Television Network and to the director of Deum Ampil, Mr. Soy Sopheap]
  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh] Said He Wants to Get Divorced, while Princess Marie Said She Does Not [he appeared at the court as plaintiff over his divorce case without the presence of Princess Marie]
  • The Number of People Infected with the A/H1N1 Virus Increased to 313, while the Number of Deaths Remains at Four [in Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2092, 7.11.2009

  • Cambodian and Siamese [Thai] Army Commanders Promised Not to Interfere in the Diplomatic Dispute [between the two governments]
  • A [Vietnamese] Man Tried to Rape His [Vietnamese] Girlfriend, then Killed Her by Breaking Her Neck and Threw Her Body into a River [he was arrested – Kompong Chhnang]
  • America Will Not Withdraw Sanctions against Myanmar [if the generals in Myanmar, who hold power, do not make noticeable improvements toward democratic reforms]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #524, 7.11.2009

  • The Appeals Court Delayed Hearing on Chea Ratha’s Case for the Second Time
  • The King Asked Mr. Hun Sen to Check a Request to Pardon Mr. Hang Chakra [the editor-in-chief of Khmer Machas Srok who was convicted to serve one year in prison for disinformation]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6799, 7.11.2009

  • The Cambodian Ambassador Returned to Cambodia through the Poipet Border Crossing; Siam [Thailand] Warned They May Close the Border Crossings if the Dispute Continues
  • A [female] Garment Worker Died of an Electric Shock in the Golden Mile Factory [Phnom Penh]
  • The United Nations Evacuates Its Staff [of about 600] from Afghanistan [because of violent and bloody attacks at their living places during the last week by Taliban forces]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #5041, 7.11.2009

  • Thailand Announced to Cancel the Agreements [on joint development] for Overlapping Zones [rich in gas and oil – according to The Nation] while Cambodia Said that this Is against International Law [as there is no point in the agreement mentioning a decision to cancel the agreement unilaterally]
  • A Draft Decree Relating to Mandatory Military Service Was Approved during a Session of the Council of Ministers [it deals with the conditions of the census, the selection, call-up, and the delay for youth that are busy with studies; in special cases there may be exemptions, while the authorities are starting to implement mandatory military services]
  • Car Hit Two Motorbikes, Killing Two People and Seriously Injuring One [no information given about the arrest of the perpetrating teenage driver – Phnom Penh]

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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Concerns about the Future of Phnom Penh Continue – Monday, 16.3.2009

Posted on 18 March 2009. Filed under: Week 604 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 604

Apologies for the delays in publishing – due to my international travel. I try to catch up as soon as possible.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: After the leaders of the Phnom Penh Municipality were awarded a World Leadership Award in London in 2005, Phnom Penh continues to encounter many problems like in 2008, when the [north] western area of the city was flooded for several months. So far, the Boeng Kak Lake filling still continues, and therefore various concerns continue.

Note:

Different from – for example – the awarding of a World Heritage Site status by an official institution like UNESCO, there is a variety of different “World Awards” which are awarded by private business enterprises, where certain direct fees or indirect fees are involved. The following information is how the Word Leadership Award is celebrated: with an expensive Gala Dinner. The price to participate in the World Leadership Award Gala Dinner, and for having the name of the winners announced to the public, from the podium, and in a printed announcement – “full-page ad” and “prominent listing” – in the journal of the World Leadership Award, are given as follows:

World Leadership Awards Gala

Tables (Includes 10 tickets)

$25,000 Platinum Leadership Table

  • Premium placement and recognition from the podium
  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad
  • Signage at the event
  • Featured article in Counterpart newsletter and website

$15,000 Benefactor Table

  • First-class placement
    1. Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad
  • Signage at the event

$10,000 Patron Table

  • Fine placement
  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad

$5,000 Friends Table

  • Prominent listing in Journal and a full-page ad

Tickets

  • $500 Individual ($335 tax deductible)
  • $1,000 Couple ($670 tax deductible)

“According to a report organized by an independent research group, the continuous filling of the natural Boeng Kak lake in the center of the city will continually cause serious flooding at the suburbs and also, there is strong disagreement with this plan, since such filling will lead to deeper and more frequent flooding.

“According to The Cambodia Daily published on 12 March 2009, the director of a Cambodian country program for housing rights, Mr. David Pred [director of Bridges Across Borders Southeast Asia, a small non-profit group, committed to social justice and defending the rights of the poor], said that the study was conducted by Australian independent researchers who were asked by a number of organizations in Cambodia to investigate the effects of the filling of the lake.

“Mr. Pred wrote in his email on Wednesday 11 March 2009, ‘The report confirms what many people have long suspected – that the filling of Phnom Penh’s largest natural lake will worsen the city flooding problem that has already become intolerable during the rainy season.’

“Mr. David Pred added, ‘The filling of the lake should be halted until those plans are made public and the people living north of the lake are reasonably assured that this project will not leave them under water every rainy season.’

“However, a deputy municipal governor, Mr. Pa Socheatevong, said that the City Hall had worked with French experts, addressing the issues related to filling the lake, adding, ‘We have already compiled the master plan correctly.’ [The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), required by law, has not been published in full; it was made without public bidding.]

“The director of the hydrology resources and meteorology department, Mr. Mao Hak, [Director of the Department of Hydrology and Water Works, or Director of Hydrology and River Works, or Director of the Hydrology Department, according to different sources on the Internet] said that the Ministry [Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology – the website announced on the government website for this Ministry – http://www.mowram.gov.kh – did not work at the time of this writing] had recommended to the municipality to build a 10-square-meter pipe to remove excess water. Now the municipality is working to solve the issue, and to prepare a water drainage system.

“Previously, the governor of the Russey Keo district, Mr. Kleang Huot, had said that the municipality has also restored the master channel at the Kob Srov dam. The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mok Mareth, said that flooding in Phnom Penh cannot be prevented unless pumping machines with a 25-cubic-meter per second capacity are set up, and an open master channel is constructed like in Boeng Trabaek, so that water can be brought to the Kob Srov dam, as the present long channel cannot remove the water in time, and there are not enough pumping machines at the Svay Pak dam.

“On 2 March 2009, the Phnom Penh municipal governor, Mr. Kep Chuktema, vowed to solve five major problems, and he also recognized that rain flooding in the north, which had caused serious destruction on public infrastructure and citizens’ houses, has not yet been solved.

“Residents in Russey Keo’s Tuol Sangkae commune blame the Shukaku company, which is dredging sand to fill the Boeng Kak lake and is pumping water to the Tuol Sangkae commune, as the cause of previous flooding. Therefore they are concerned. Also, residents of the Kiloumaetr Lekh Prammuoy Muoy and of the Khmuonh Communes ask the Phnom Penh municipal governor to plan carefully, so that they will not suffer from long lasting flooding like in the previous year.” Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #44, 16-22.3.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 16 March 2009

Amnach Reas, Vol.2, #44, 16-22.3.2009

  • Concerns about the Future of Phnom Penh Continue

Bakong, Vol.10, #256, 16-17.3.2009

  • 50,000 Garment Workers [among 300,000 garment workers in total] Lost Their Employment in the Past Six Months in Cambodia [since September 2008 – according to Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh]

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #38, 16.3.2009

  • Parliamentarians of the Sam Rainsy Party Ask Mr. Hun Sen to Clarify the Efficiency of the Enforcement of Financial Legislation in 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #140, 15-16.3.2009

  • The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers: Most Factory Owners Do Not Deposit Money at the National Bank
  • The Asian Human Rights Commission Appeals to Cambodia to Continue Holding the National Congress
  • A Grenade Was Thrown at the Cars of a Siamese [Thai] Deputy Prime Minister and His Entourage, and It Wounded One Person, while Red Shirt Demonstrators [opposing the government] Threw Eggs

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1898, 15-16.2009

  • Samdech Heng Samrin Calls on Local, Provincial, and District Authorities to Crack Down On Gangsters
  • [District and provincial/city] Election Campaign Will Start be from 1 to 15 May 2009
  • More Than 50,000 Poor Students Receive Scholarships from the Government and from the World Bank [in 2009]
  • A Man Jumped into the River to Commit Suicide, as His Father Was Giving Him a Ride, when They Reached the Middle of the Chroy Chongva Bridge [he died – Phnom Penh]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3712, 16.3.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Salaries Should Be Increased to at least between US$100 to US$150 so that Civil Servants Have Economic Stability to Work
  • Yuon [Vietnam] Announces that It Will Exploit 50,000 Hectares of Forest Land in Cambodia [provided as concession land by the government with a 70 years contract, to cut trees in the forests in Mondolkiri and Ratanakiri]

Rasmei Angkor, Vol.16, #1421, 16.3.2009

  • A Road [built in 1986 which is an important road connecting the Tuol Kork and Sen Sok districts in Phnom Penh] Will Be Named “Hok Lundy Road” [remembering the former director-general of the National Police who died in a helicopter crash last year]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4845, 15-16.3.2009

  • The Sambour Prey Kuk Temple Is Being Prepared for Listing as a World Heritage Site [Kompong Thom]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1672-1673, 15-16.3.2009

  • The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC – Said that Tens of Thousands of Families of Khmer Citizens Suffer Human Rights Violations [this was said after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cambodia dismissed the report on human rights by the U.S. Department of State]
  • The President of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers [Chea Mony] Is Disappointed about the Refusal of the Ministry of Interior, Not Allowing Him to Visit Heng Pov [the former Phnom Penh police chief who is alleged to have been involved in murdering his older brother Chea Vichea, the former president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers]

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

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