Cambodia: Continued arbitrary detention of Messrs. Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, Ny Chakrya, and Ms. Lim Mony
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Cambodia.
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the continued arbitrary detention of Messrs. Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, and Ms. Lim Mony, all staff members of the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC), as well as of Mr. Ny Chakrya, former Head of ADHOC Human Rights and Monitoring Section and now Deputy Secretary-General of the National Election Committee (NEC).
According to the information received, on March 13, 2017, the Supreme Court upheld the November 28, 2016 decision of the Court of Appeal to extend the pre-trial detention of the four ADHOC staff members for a further six months (See background information).
On February 27, 2017, Messrs. Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, Ny Chakrya, and Ms. Lim Mony were summoned before the Supreme Court, following the appeal they filed against the decision to extend their detention order. However, due to the bailiff's failure to send the summons for their transportation to court to the three prison facilities where the five are detained, none of them were brought to the Supreme Court for their hearing. As a result, the hearing was postponed. Moreover, the Supreme Court decided to sever the appeals of the five defenders. The hearing of the four ADHOC staff members was postponed to March 6, 2017, while the hearing of Ny Chakrya is now scheduled for March 24, 2017, at 8am. On March 6, the Supreme Court announced it would deliver its verdict on March 13 in the hearing of the four ADHOC staff members.
As of March 14, 2017, the five human rights defenders have spent 320 days in pre-trial detention.
The Observatory strongly condemns the ongoing arbitrary detention of Messrs. Ny Chakrya, Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, and Ms. Lim Mony, which only aims at sanctioning their legitimate human rights activities, and calls upon the Cambodian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the five human rights defenders, in accordance with the Opinion adopted by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).
The Observatory also calls upon the Cambodian authorities to put an end to any act of harassment against all human rights defenders in Cambodia.
This update was published on OMCT's website on March 15, 2017.