[Press Release] Civil society launches #FreeThe5KH campaign in support of the imprisoned ADHOC staff and NEC official

Civil society launches #FreeThe5KH campaign in support of the imprisoned ADHOC staff and NEC official

Infographic _Free the 5_ENGWe, the undersigned civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations, launch today – 8 August 2016 – the #FreeThe5KH campaign in support of the five human rights defenders, who are currently in pre-trial detention and under judicial investigation for allegations of bribery.  The five face charges in regard to providing advice and legitimate reimbursement of food and transport costs to the woman alleged to have had an extra-marital relationship with the deputy opposition leader, Kem Sokha. The charges have all the hallmarks of being politically motivated, amounting to legal harassment. The five rights defenders have now spent over 100 days in prison (102 days as of today).

As part of the campaign, we call on all concerned citizens to send messages of solidarity to the five rights defenders via postcards, which we will collect and deliver to the detainees until they are released. In addition, to raise awareness of their continued detention we will release periodically a series of infographics on our Facebook page and Twitter with the hashtag #FreeThe5KH. This campaign will complement already existing advocacy efforts taken on a local, regional and international level. To find out more about the campaign and how to get involved, please visit http://www.freethe5kh.net.

The five human rights defenders – four senior staff members from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), Mr. Ny Sokha, Mr. Yi Soksan, Mr. Nay Vanda, and Ms. Lim Mony, and deputy secretary-general of the National Election Committee (and former ADHOC staff member) Mr. Ny Chakrya – were detained on 28 April 2016. On 2 May, the four ADHOC staff were charged with bribing a witness, and Mr. Ny Chakrya was charged as an accomplice to the same crime. United Nations (UN) staffer Mr. Soen Sally was also charged as an accomplice; however, he remains free due to his immunity as a UN official. That same day, Mr. Ny Chakrya was transferred to Police Judiciare and the four ADHOC staff were transferred to Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison. The Appeal Court denied the detainees bail on 13 June. A final appeal against the bail decisions is pending before the Supreme Court.

The #FreeThe5KH campaign aims to garner support for the five detained human rights defenders, to remind them that the public has not forgotten about their cause and to help keep their morale high while they remain in detention.

This joint press release is endorsed by:

1.     ActionAid Cambodia

2.     Alliance for Conflict Transformation (ACT)

3.     Amnesty International

4.     Asia Democracy Network (ADN)

5.     Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

6.     ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)

7.     Bandanh Chaktomuk Community

8.     Boat People SOS

9.     Burma Partnership

10.  Boeung Kak Community

11.  Boeung Trabek Community

12.  Borei Keila Community

13.  CamASEAN Youth’s Future

14.  Cambodia Indigenous Youth Association (CIYA)

15.  Cambodia Volunteers for Society (CVS)

16.  Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)

17.  Cambodian Human Rights Action Coalition (CHRAC)

18.  Cambodian Women’s Development Agency (CWDA)

19.  Cambodian Youth Network (CYN)

20.  Cambodian Independent Teacher Association (CITA)

21.  Civil Rights Defenders

22.  Coalition for Integrity and Social Accountability (CISA)

23.  Coalition of Cambodian Farmers Community (CCFC)

24.  Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia (COMFREL)

25.  Community Legal Education Center (CLEC)

26.  Cooperation Committee for Cambodia (CCC)

27.  Equitable Cambodia (EC)

28.  Former Boeung Kak Women Network Community

29.  Front Line Defenders

30.  Gender and Development for Cambodia (GADC)

31.  Heinrich Böll Stiftung/Foundation

32.  Housing Rights Task Force (HRTF)

33.  Human Rights Watch

34.  Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA)

35.  Indigenous Youth at Prome Commune, Preah Vihear Province

36.  Indradevi Association

37.  International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

38.  Kuoy Ethnic Community at Prame Commune, Preah Vihear Province

39.  Land Conflict Community, Krous Village, Battambang Province

40.  Land Conflict Community, Skun Village, Siem Reap Province

41.  Land Community, Prek Chik Village, Koh Kong Province

42.  Land Community, Village I, Sangkat III, Preah Sihanouk Province

43.  Lor Peang Community, Kampong Chhnang Province

44.  Phnom Bat Community

45.  Ponlok Khmer

46.  Railway Station, Tuol Sangkae A Community

47.  SOS International Airport Community

48.  Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)

49.  Star Kampuchea

50.  Strey Khmer Organization

51.   Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA

52.  World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders

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