Subedi: The Court System in Cambodia Still Has Difficulties in Providing Justice for Cambodian Citizens – Saturday, 19.6.2010
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 669
1. Apologies for not having had any publication on Friday – a National Holiday, Birthday of the Queen Mother – and providing the Saturday issue only late on Sunday. I had difficulties to receive the draft materials in time.
2. I upload the Saturday publication in transit from the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum in Hong Kong on the way to the regular meeting of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers – ICANN, the organization handling the global Internet address system – in Brussels, and further travel beyond, to Canada and the USA. This travel will also result in some irregular timing of the publication of The Mirror during the next weeks.
But we still try to keep up the publication regularly, though with some delays.
“The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia stated at the end of his third mission to Cambodia that serious flaws in the Cambodian court system affect the courts’ abilities to provide justice for common citizens.
“Speaking to journalists on Thursday, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia, Mr. Surya Subedi, said that the lack of resources, institutional problems, and the interference from outside of the court system have created institutions which are not trusted by citizens from all levels of society. He said, ‘More and more citizens had been jailed because of flaws in the court system, and such failures to provide justice are on the rise.’
“Mr. Subedi added that such cases relate especially to land disputes and to the freedom of expression. He added, ‘I am concerned about the impact from land disputes and from the relocation of common citizens… and the decline of political freedom to discuss issues the society is facing which result in complaints against journalists, human rights activists, and political opposition of defamation, disinformation, and incitations.’
“During his 10-day visit to Cambodia concentrating on the judicial system, Mr. Subedi met with the Khmer King, Samdech Preah Boromneath Norodom Sihamoni, high ranking officials, judges, members of the civil society, and parliamentarians. But Mr. Subedi said that a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday, 17.6.2010, was canceled due to health reason. He went on to say, ‘I will find other ways to convey my messages to the Prime Minister.’
“Citizens had directly delivered to Mr. Subedi a petition asking him to intervene to supprt their cases. On Monday, 14.6.2010, for a short time, he met with representatives of citizens involved in land disputes in Kandal, Kompong Speu, Kompong Thom, and Siem Reap.
“The next day, Mr. Ruos Sokhet, a journalist in jail, asked Mr. Subedi to intervene of behalf of his case. Mr. Ruos Sokhet has been jailed since November 2009 for sending a text message insulting Mr. Soy Sopheap, a well-known television presenter.
“Mr. Subedi stated that in his position, he cannot work on any specific complaints, but he said that direct visits show specific forms in the operations of the judicial system in Cambodia. He added, ‘The voices of the citizens are crucial for me, to specify the need for reforms in the court system, and to see what other sectors must also be reformed.’
“He continued to say that he asked the government to create a clear timetable to implement his recommendations on the court system. He said, ‘This is an obligation implemented voluntarily by the Cambodian Government, and I hope that the government will take up its commitment.’ Mr. Subedi will report the results of this visit to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2010.
“The head of the Cambodia Human Rights Commission, Mr. Om Yentieng, said that he does not know what Mr. Subedi will report to the UN Human Rights Council, but he said that the visit was short, so the assessment of the court system is not accurate. He suggested that the United Nations should create a work team to work with the government on human rights. He said, ‘In order to produce a proper report, they should create a work team to cooperate with the government, so that they have the details and additional information before they conduct any assessments.’
“The spokesperson of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Yim Sovann, informed Mr. Subedi about the political bias of the courts, and especially about the complaints against the president of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Sam Rainsy, and the case of the parliamentarian Ms. Mu Sochua, who are strongly critic of the court system. He added that with the possibility to reach international institutions of the United Nations, Mr. Subedi can bring positive changes for Cambodia. He said, ‘So far, I have less and less trust, but we will wait and see.’” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #196, 18.6.2010
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 19 June 2010
Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #507-508, 18-19.6.2010
- Chinese Military Assistance, 257 Military Trucks and 50,000 Military Uniforms, Have Arrived
- The United States of America Delivered Seven Valuable Types of [Khmer] Artifacts to Cambodia
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2278-2279, 18-19.6.2010
- Mr. Om Yentieng Apologized to Samdech Dekchor Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen [for building a statue, though the Prime Minister is still alive – according to Khmer tradition, a statue of a person is normally created only after that person has died. The statue had been erected in front of the Anti-Corruption Institution; Mr. Om Yentieng built it as a sign of his own respect to Mr. Hun Sen, but he had not informed him; in the meantime the statue has been removed]
- Cambodia [through the Press and Quick Reaction Unit at the Council of Ministers] Denied that Two Red-Shirt [anti-Thai government] Leaders Are Hiding in a Casino in Poipet
- Facing a Series of Robberies, 200 Citizens Volunteer to Cooperate with the Police to Strengthen the Security of Their Villages and Communes [by establishing groups to patrol the Sangkae district, Battambang]
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #684, 18.6.2010
- [UN special rapporteur] Surya Subedi Told Ms. Mu Sochua that He Will Raise the Issue of [opposition party president] Sam Rainsy’s Return when He Comes to Cambodia Next Time
Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6985, 18.6.2010
- The Municipal Court Issued a Letter to Demand that Mu Sochua Pays the Fine – while She Is Leaving the Country to Bring a Petition to [US President] Obama
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3909-3910, 18-20.6.2010
- The Government Released Circular Number 3, Ordering the Authorities to Clear Temporary Shelters [established on state land] Which Causes Misery for the Poor Countrywide
- The Ministry of Justice Issued a Warrant for the Third Time to Arrest Persons of a Mixed Authorities’ Group [of police and soldiers] Who Shot at Citizens in the Chi Kraeng District [injuring four citizens], while the Siem Reap Court Has Not Identified the Perpetrators [the people were shot at on March 2009 when they protested against court decisions handing over disputed land to other groups of citizens, believed to be used by some rich and powerful people; the Ministry of Justice issued the warrant, ordering the Siem Reap Municipal Court to arrest the perpetrators]
Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #196, 18.6.2010
- Subedi: The Court System in Cambodia Still Has Difficulties in Providing Justice to Cambodian Citizens
- Cambodia Should Speed Up Handling Procedures at the Borders [to facilitate export and import – according to a visiting senior economists of the World Bank, Dr. Peter Malvicini]
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5227-5228, 18-19.6.2010
- Ms. Mu Sochua Will Face Six-Month Imprisonment if She Does Not Pay the Fine [for losing a defamation case against Prime Minister Hun Sen]
- A Truck Loaded with Stones Hit a Motorbike from Behind, Killing Two Persons [Phnom Penh]
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.
The Economic Exploitation from Blood Donations Is Against the Moral of Medical Professionalism – Tuesday, 15.6.2010
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 669
“Phnom Penh: A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health said that the exploitation from blood donations and from blood infusions is against the moral of medical professionalism and it must be avoided.
“A Secretary of State of the Ministry of Health, Ms. Ouk Monna, said so during a World Blood Donors’ Day event, held on 14 June 2010 at the National Institute of Education, focusing on young donors with the slogan ‘New Blood for the World.’ ‘The economic exploitation from blood donations and blood injections is totally against the moral of medical professionalism, and such behavior must be avoided.’ She added, ‘The elimination of these activities can earn trust from the general public, and it will lead to receiving 100% voluntary blood donations from the Cambodian people.’
“She went on to say that like the focus says clearly, the Ministry of Health strongly supports the National Blood Transfusion Center to make more efforts in order to meet the safe, sufficient, and timely supply of blood as needed by patients at different hospitals. Safe blood donations are supportive services for the treatment and the care for patients, and they help to reduce the death rate of patients.
“Ms. Ouk Monna continued to say that in order to promote the provision of health services, the National Blood Transfusion Center must make broader publicity efforts about voluntarism to donate blood, so that citizens, including young people in the communities, as well as civil servants at different institutions, departments, and at the ministries gain knowledge about it and join to donate blood.
“According to a report from the National Blood Donation Center, in 2009 35,895 bags of blood were donated by volunteers from different families and from friends of patients, and about 51% of the donated blood was used in different hospitals in Phnom Penh, and the rest of 49% in hospitals in the provinces countrywide.
“The director of the National Blood Donation Center, Mr. Nhem Thuok said, ‘The national blood donation service is under the administration of the Ministry of Health and its key role is to implement a blood safety strategy policy where the major goal is to guarantee safe, sufficient, and timely blood donations in order to meet the demands of patients at public and private hospitals nationwide.’
“He added that since the reestablishment of blood donation services in 1991, the collection of blood donated by volunteers around the country keeps increasing, and it is in line with the improvement of the health infrastructure that leads to the growing use of blood. He went on to say that there are only 3 volunteers donating their blood among 1,000 people, a very low rate. According to a study, there will not be sufficient blood supplies unless 2 among 100 people donate their blood.
Ms. Dith Kimean, a volunteer blood donors, said, ‘The World Blood Donors Day does encourage and educate youth to do social work to help the society, especially also to save people’s lives through the voluntary donation of blood.’ She added that every year, millions of people in the world, including thousands of Cambodian people, need blood so that their lives can be saved after they had an accident or a sickness that makes them lose blood.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5224, 15.6.2010
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #504, 15.6.2010
- The Economic Exploitation from Blood Donations Is Against the Moral of Medical Professionalism
- The Judgment of the International Court in The Hague [of 15 June 1962, which decided that the Preah Vihear Temple is on Cambodian land] Is Commemorated [by officials of the Cambodian government, of non-government organizations, and of opposition party members] and They Call on Thailand to Withdraw Troops from Border Regions [the question of the borders between Cambodia and Thailand had not been finally resolved at that time].
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2275, 15.6.2010
- Thirty One Families in the Andoung Trabaek Commune Were Shot at and Evicted from Their Homes [by forestry officials – Svay Rieng]
- Three People Were Killed in a Traffic Accident on National Road 1 [when a motorbike struck a truck – Kandal]
Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #681, 15.6.2010
- Putting the [Cambodian-Vietnamese] Border Markers Number 292, 293, 294, and 295 [in the Prey Tonle Commune, Banteay Meas district, Kampot] Makes Some Commune and Police Officials [from the Cambodian People’s Party and some other citizens] Lose Their Rice Fields to Yuon [Vietnam – this is the claim of a citizen who asked not to be named]
Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6982, 15.6.2010
- [About eighty] Citizens [representing 136 families] from the Memut District Asked Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen to Solve a Land Dispute [of 250 hectares; two representatives were arrested and others were threatened that they will be arrested if they do not agree to remove their houses and give their thumb prints to deliver their land to another person]
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3906, 15.6.2010
- Citizens Victimized by Land Disputes Delivered a Petition to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia Quietly [Phnom Penh]
Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #193, 15.6.2010
- [The UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia] Subedi Promised to Take Land Disputes to the Government [after citizens from different provinces and cities victimized by land disputes gathered in front of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Phnom Penh to send him a petition]
- Cambodia Was Praised [by the US Department of State] over the Fight against Human Trafficking [through the strengthening of law enforcement]
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5224, 15.6.2010
- The Judgment of the International Court in The Hague [of 15 June 1962, which decided that the Preah Vihear Temple is on Cambodian land] Is Commemorated [by officials of the Cambodian government, of non-government organizations, and of opposition party members] and They Call on Thailand to Withdraw Troops from Border Regions [the question of the borders between Cambodia and Thailand was not finally resolved at that time]
- Three People Were Killed because Stones Fell on Them [after there were lightnings] while They Were Taking Shelter from the Rain [in a cave – Kampot]
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.
The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 664
In many societies it is usual that corporations, and rich and not so rich individuals make donations for causes they consider important for the public good. During the past week it was reported that more than US$7 million was collected as donations during the celebration of the Cambodia Red Cross and Red Crescent Society’s anniversary on 8 May; it is the largest humanitarian organization in Cambodia, having also individual Members, and Volunteers. This is an impressive organization which has collected an impressive sum. To see whether or not this is the beginning of a spirit of voluntarism in society, it would be good to know how much the same charitable donors are making available to lift up the economic situation of orphanages, to create and maintain scholarships for needy students from the provinces, to support organizations engaged in the promotion of awareness of the endangered environment and its protection, and many similar endeavors.
In many countries, the Red Cross is one not-for-profit NGO like any other NGO – it receives private and corporate donations, like other NGOs receiving private and corporate donations; often these are encouraged by special tax reduction or tax exemption regulations for supporting such causes for the public good. Over the years I became aware that many persons in Cambodia, dealing with foreign NGOs working in the country, are not aware that these depend to a more or less strong degree on regular private donation, often from people in the middle and lower income brackets in their countries, and not only on public money. But it seems to be hardly a usual feature that Cambodian NGOs, working for the public good, receive similar donations from those who have money, in Cambodia. If there are worthwhile examples, it would be good to have them reported more prominently, and not only for the Cambodian Red Cross and Red Crescent Society.
But whatever the source of such funds – it is usual that that they are accounted for regularly and publicly. One argument of the government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, why a special NGO law is necessary, was always that the finances of NGOs – as agencies handling social funds – have to be monitored publicly. Though NGOs have responded that they are subject to regular public audit already, and these audit reports have been available anyway, the request to make their financial records public was always among the main arguments to create such legislation.
Now it is all the more surprising, that the financial volume and the operating procedures of the Social Fund of the government, even it’s existence, referred to sometimes over the years, are not similarly transparent, and there are additional allegations that government representatives have received substantial monies, supposedly for a social fund, which cannot be found in any verifiable public financial record.
The present round of discussions was triggered by reports that an Australian mining company, which had operated for a limited period in Mondolkiri, is under corruption investigation at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, because it is also listed on stock exchanges in the USA. There are allegations that this may relate to payments to Cambodia. While the government was asked for precise, detailed information supported by documents, to be presented to the National Assembly, additional questions were added relating to payments from the French company Total. Some of the related, but not clarified pieces of information:
- The Indonesian company Medco Energi said they paid US$4.5 million into a government social fund.
- The Australian company BHP Billiton paid US$ 2.5 million as “tea money” – according to a statement by the Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources and Meteorology in the National Assembly.
- Payments of US$20 million by the French oil company Total, paid as a “signature bonus,” are not publicly traceable.
- In addition, some of the monies are said to have be designated to pay for specific activities in Mondolkiri or in Pursat etc., but different, related information, cannot be reconciled.
Now the Prime Minister gave the task to explain the situation to the National Assembly to two Deputy Prime Ministers, the Minister of the Council of Ministers Sok An, and the Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon. According to Mr. Phay Siphan, the spokesperson of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister “said that all revenues must go to the national budget.” Obviously that is not what happened so far.
Interesting explanations and revelations relating to the past can be expected – combined with the hope that the order of the Prime Minister will be molded into clear administrative procedures for the future.
Please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.
The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 562
“Phnom Penh: Fourteen new Korean volunteers, among them seven women, were sent to work in Cambodia. Nine of the fourteen volunteers arrived Cambodia on 21 May 2008, and five more volunteers will arrive on 26 May 2008. They will actively function assisting in the fields of human resources development in different institutions of the Royal Government of Cambodia for a period of two years from 2008 to 2010.
“According to an announcement by the Korea International Cooperation Agency [KOICA] for the year 2008, the group of these fourteen volunteers is the first new group to be sent to Cambodia to fulfill duties in various fields – such as health, arts, Korean language, tourism, sports, electricity, and information technology. The institutions, which have asked for volunteers, are the Calmette Hospital and the Institute of Foreign Languages in Phnom Penh, primary schools in Kratie and Pursat, professional training centers in Kompong Cham and Siem Reap, the National University of Management in Battambang, the Kompong Chhnang Referral Hospital, and the National Institutes of Education of Kompong Cham and Siem Reap.
“The Korean Volunteer Program is a program of the Republic of Korea to send Korean volunteers for cooperation in other countries to share and exchange different experiences for social and economic development. Since the creation of the Korean Volunteer Program in Cambodia in 2003, the total number of Korean volunteers has been 144, and they have been sent to Cambodia to work in various fields, such as health education, rural development, and the development of information technology, arts, agriculture, and tourism. With their skills and their commitment, all the fourteen new volunteers, as well as other volunteers who are already actively working in Cambodia [click for an example from 2007], are playing very important roles in contributing in programs and in assistance from the Republic of Korea to develop the Cambodian economy and society through the exchange and the improvement of human resources and other assistance from the Republic of Korea. This will strengthens the relations between both countries.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4598, 25-26.5.2008
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 26 May 2008
Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #106, 25.5.2008
- The Government, Students, and Civil Society React against Siem [Thailand] Which Wants to Take the Preah Vihear Temple [after the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on 23 May 2008 suggesting to jointly administer the Preah Vihear temple with Cambodia]
- Director of Human Rights Watch Mr. Brad Adams Considers the Confiscation of The Burma Daily by the Government to Be a Shame
- Dispute in the Center for Social Development [with Ms. Seng Theary as director] and the Corruption in the Cambodia Defenders Project [with Mr. Sok Samoeun as director] Is Like Giving a Sword to Officials of the Cambodians People’s Party to Use It as Their Tool
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1650, 25-26.5.2008
- Burma Allows Foreign Relief Groups to Help the Tropical Cyclone Victims [on Friday]
Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #583, 26.5.2008
- [Norodom Ranariddh Party president] Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh: It Is Dishonest Politics that Hun Sen Uses 39 Radio Stations Alone to Attack Other Parties
Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6354, 26.5.2008
- Khiev Samphan [the former Khmer Rouge leader] Is in an Unclear Health Condition Which Doctors Monitor Carefully
- Guard [Mr. Van Vin, 43] of the ‘Land of the Disabled’ Was Attacked at Night with a Grenade in Veal Thom Village [wounding a man staying in his house – Phnom Sruoch, Kompong Speu]
- Details of the Construction of the Satellite City “Grand Phnom Penh” Show that Two Companies [the YLP Group of Cambodia and the Ciputra Group of Indonesia] Cooperate to Provide Luxury Living in Cambodia
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3469, 26.5.2008
- More Than 40,000 Minority Tribespeople Made Thumbprints to Ask for the Removal of Lay Sokha and Keo Horn from the Positions of Mondolkiri Governor and Deputy Governor
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4598, 25-26.5.2008
- More Korean Volunteers Have Arrived in Cambodia
- [Former Thai prime minister] Thaksin Met Samdech Hun Sen and Suggested [on 23 May 2008] a New City Construction Project Worth Thousands of Millions of Dollars in Koh Kong [according to Mr. Hun Sen’s advisor Mr. Ieng Sophalet who informed Raksmei Kampuchea]
- The Documentation Center of Cambodia Cooperates [with the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center] to Create a New Website – http://www.cambodiatribunal.org – for Observing the Progress of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
- Children of a Chinese Man Are Not Very Happy, because the Director of the Department of Education, Youth, and Sport of Kompong Thom [Mr. Su Kimtry, who is now 59 years old – and teachers are required to normally retire at the age of 60] Postpones His Retirement for Five Years [on his own request]