Archive for the ‘Human Rights សិទ្ធិមនុស្ស’ Category
The Cambodia Daily – May 13, 2013 By James Heenan
I refer to this weekend’s article “UN Official Tells Government Not to Be Defensive on Rights Record.” The article reports on a meeting convened jointly between the Cambodian Human Rights Committee and the local U.N. Human Rights Office (OHCHR) on Friday, which addressed the preparation for Cambodia’s next human rights review by the U.N. Human Right Council 2014.
As a technical discussion, it focused on how the government might best prepare for the review, so that its report is as strong as possible. The meeting was but the latest event in ongoing technical assistance on the U.N.’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that OHCHR and other donors are providing at the Royal Government’s request.
The article inaccurately suggests I “warned” the government not to be defensive in its UPR reporting. The U.N. and OHCHR do not “warn” member states, nor do they “tell” member states what to do in relation to a UPR review. The rules of the UPR are set by the U.N. Human Rights Council, and these formed the basis for Friday’s discussion. The meeting also heard constructive suggestions based on best-practice, including the experience of other member states having been through the UPR.
James Heenan is the representative a.i. at the OHCHR Cambodia Office
BANGKOK, May 10 (Xinhua) — Thai foreign minister urged his US counterpart not to downgrade the southeast Asian country in its latest review of the human trafficking situation during his visit to the United States, Thai News Agency reported on Friday.
Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand, said on Thursday upon his return from a visit to Washington that he had discussed several issues with his US counterpart John Kerry during his visit from May 5 to 8.
During the Monday meeting on Monday, Surapong said he highlighted the Thai government’s efforts in dealing with the problem of trafficking. He cited the example of Thailand’s newly- established One-Stop Crisis Centres on assistance and protection for various target groups, including victims of human trafficking.
The minister said he hoped the efforts would be reflected positively in the upcoming U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which is to be published next month.
The TIP report has put Thailand on the Tier 2 Watch List for three consecutive years and the government is concerned that the country may slip into Tier 3 if no meaningful action is taken to deal with the human trafficking problem.
A country in the Tier 2 Watch List is not yet compliant to the maximum standards to combat trafficking in persons and is in danger of falling to Tier 3, which is worse.
Kerry said he would consider Thailand’s request and effort, but expressed concern over Thailand’s lengthy judiciary procedures in tackling human trafficking cases, Surapong said.
The two ministers also discussed a wide range of bilateral and regional issues, as well as global issues of common concern.
On regional issues, Surapong welcomed Washington’s strategic rebalancing policy focusing on re-engagement with Asia, particularly the importance the US has given the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to centrality.
He stressed that American engagement in ASEAN integration efforts can serve as a stabilizing force in the region.
The partnership will help address political-security challenges in the ASEAN region, including transnational crime, human trafficking, piracy, and disaster.
PHNOM PENH, March 14 (Xinhua) — Cambodia’s Court of Appeal on Thursday reduced jail term for Mam Sonando, owner of the Beehive Radio and president of the Association of Democrats, to five years with remaining jail term being suspended, according to a verdict announced by presiding judge Khun Leang Meng.
The court found Sonando, 72, guilty of obstruction of public officials, interference in the discharge of public duties, and illegal logging, he said.
Sonando, who was arrested on July 15, 2012 at his house in Phnom Penh, will be released on Saturday after he has served eight months in jail, the judge said.
“I support the court for giving a suspended jail term to my client,” Sonando’s defense lawyer Sar Sovan told reporters.
The Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Oct. 1 last year convicted Sonando of masterminding a “secessionist” plot and sentenced him to 20 years in jail.
The court found that Sonando masterminded a plot to establish an autonomous region in eastern Kratie province in May last year. At that time, there was a violent clash between the government forces and illegal land holders. As a result, a 14-year-old girl was shot dead by government forces.
Some western countries see the conviction of Sonando as a political motivated move to stifle a popular government critic.
In November last year, while attending ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh, U.S. President Barack Obama urged Cambodia to release political prisoners during a bilateral meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Obama highlighted the case of Sonando for instance.
However, Hun Sen said, “In Cambodia, there is no political prisoner, but politicians abused the law, so they must be punished in accordance with the law.”
PHNOM PENH, March 8 (Xinhua) — Cambodia on Friday celebrated the 102nd anniversary of the International Women’s Day, urging more women to participate in political, social and economic activities.
Addressing the celebration at the capital’s Peace Palace, Prime Minister Hun Sen encouraged more women to run in the forthcoming parliamentary election in order to increase women’s presence in political, social and economic activities.
The country sets to hold a general election on July 28 this year.
The prime minister said “the government always focuses its attention on women and gives importance to enhancing women’s roles in society.”
“More importantly, the Cambodian people always recognize and see women as the mother of the world and the backbone of social and economic development,” he added.
Minister of Women’s Affairs Ing Kantha Phavi said the celebration, under the theme “Equal Rights, Equal Opportunities to Accelerate Progress”, was to commemorate women’s advocacy for equal rights and value in the development of families and societies.
CANBERRA, March 8 (Xinhua)– Australia will put 24 million Australian dollars (almost 24.6 million USD) over five years to help women in Cambodia against violence, Foreign Minister Bob Carr announced in a statement Friday, the International Women’s Day.
This funding for the Ending Violence Against Women program will deliver emergency medical treatment, counseling, safe places to stay and legal services.
According to him, one-in-three women worldwide are beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime. And women who have experienced violence in Cambodia often lack access to critical services including counseling and legal support and many do not have access to safe shelter.
Carr said violence against women is unacceptable which is why Australia’s aid program is also starting new programs to promote gender equality and tackle violence against women in Afghanistan, Indonesia and the Pacific.
Over the next 10 years, the 320 million Australian dollars ( almost 328.12 million USD) Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development initiative, declared by Prime Minister Gillard at the Pacific Islands Forum last year, will include support for more than 150,000 women who have experienced violence.
រាស្រ្ត ម្នាក់គួរយល់ដឹង ពីរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ (១៩៩៣) ជំពូក ៦ មាត្រា ៧២ ស្តីពី សុខភាព៖
សុខភាពប្រជារាស្រ្តនឹងត្រូវបានកំណត់ធានាអះអាង។ រដ្ឋ នឹងត្រូវផ្តល់ការ យកចិត្ត ទុក ដាក់ ពេញលេញ លើការ ការពាររោគ និង ព្យាបាល។
រាស្រ្តណា ក្រីក្រ នឹងត្រូវបាន ទទួល ការ ផ្តល់យោបល់់ ពិគ្រោះសុខភាព ពីមន្ទីរ ពេទ្យ ព្យាបាល សាធារណៈ មណ្ឌល សុខភាពរង និង មន្ទីរបង្កើតទារក ដោយមិន បាច់ ចាយបង់ថ្លៃ។
រដ្ឋ នឹងត្រូវសាងសង់ មន្ទីរ សុខភាពរង និង មន្ទីរបង្កើតទារក តាមគ្រប់ទី ជនបទ ឆ្ងាយ ស្រយាល៕
បន្ទុកបណ្តុះបណ្តាលចំណេះដឹងរាស្រ្តនេះ គឺជាការងារ របស់ រដ្ឋមន្រ្តី ពីរក្រសួង គឺព៌តមាន ឃោសនាការជាតិ (ឯកឧត្តម វីស្គី កាញ់ ញ៉ារឹត) និង ក្រសួង សុខាភិបាលជាតិ (ឯកឧត្តម បណ្ឌិតឃាតករ ម៉ម ប៊ុនហេង) ត្រូវតែផ្សព្វ ផ្សាយ ពន្យល់ រាស្រ្ត ឪយបានយល់ច្បាស់ ពីសិទ្ធិ គាត់ក្នុងផ្នែកស្វែងរក ជំនួយ សុខ ភាពនិងព្យាបាលពី មន្ទីរ ព្យាបាល សាធារណៈ ទាំងនោះ ត្រូវបានធានាអះអាងការពារ និង ចាប់ទោស បុគ្គលិក ល្មើស ធ្វើផ្ទុយ នឹងច្បាប់ រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញដែល បានចែងទុកស្រាប់ រួចមកហើយ។
ប៉ុន្តែម្នាល ទាំងពីរក្បាលនេះ វា
23-01-2013 BANGKOK (Reuters) – A Thai magazine editor was jailed for 10 years on Wednesday for insulting the royal family under the country’s draconian lese-majeste law, a sentence that drew condemnation from international rights groups and the European Union.
Somyot Prueksakasemsuk, editor of “Voice of the Oppressed”, a magazine devoted to self-exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, was found guilty of publishing articles in 2010 defaming King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The articles criticized the role of a fictional character meant to represent the king, public prosecutors said in a July 2011 report. Discussions about the role of the monarchy are forbidden.
“The accused is a journalist who had a duty to check the facts in these articles before publishing them. He knew the content defamed the monarchy but allowed their publication anyway,” a judge said in passing sentence.
The European Union Delegation to Thailand said the verdict and sentence undermined the right to freedom of expression.
“At the same time, it affects Thailand’s image as a free and democratic society,” it said in a statement.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said the ruling was “more about Somyot’s strong support for amending the lese-majeste law than about any harm incurred by the monarchy”.
Rights groups say the lese-majeste law is used by Thailand’s powerful elite to silence political opponents, including supporters of pro-Thaksin groups.
“The lese-majeste law works against the long-term interests of the Thai monarchy,” said David Streckfuss, a Thailand-based independent scholar and lese-majeste expert. “To a society that is becoming ever more politically conscious, the holding and trying of defendants seems arbitrary, petty and a clear violation of human rights.”
Somyot, who was jailed for an additional year on an unrelated defamation conviction, was arrested on the lese-majeste charge while Oxford-educated, pro-establishment Abhisit Vejjajiva was prime minister.
Current Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Thaksin’s sister, promised to amend the law during her 2011 election campaign but has rowed back on that since coming to office, causing divisions among her supporters.
Websites accused of defaming the royal family are frequently shut down.
“Thailand’s 2007 Computer Crimes Act effectively muzzles those who want to express an honest opinion and 75 percent of websites shut down since it came into force have been because of so-called anti-monarchy content,” said Sawatree Suksri, a criminal law lecturer at Thammasart University in Bangkok.
Convictions under the law carry a maximum jail term of 15 years.
The 85-year-old king, who has been in hospital since 2009, is seen by many in Thailand as a unifying, semi-divine father figure.
National unease over what follows his reign has contributed to tensions in the country since before Thaksin was toppled by the military in 2006, leaving the country divided broadly between royalists and nationalists on the one side and Thaksin’s mostly lower-class supporters on the other.
(Additional reporting by Aukkarapon Niyomyat; Editing by Alan Raybould and Nick Macfie)
20-01-2013 PHNOM PENH (The Cambodia Herald) – The Khmer Rouge tribunal said Friday it would hold document hearings next week due to the hospitalization of Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan.
The hearings in the Trial Chamber will take place on on Monday and Tuesday, a statement said.
“These document hearings are likely to continue, should the health condition of the accused persons prevent the Chamber from hearing witness testimonies on 23 and 24 January,” it added.
UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday welcomed Myanmar government’s announcement about a ceasefire in Kachin and called on both sides to “make serious efforts to create conditions for sustainable peace” in the region.
Ban said in a statement issued by his spokesman that he has been following the various reports from the ground on the implementation of the ceasefire.
Myanmar government announced Friday unilateral ceasefire with the ethnic Kachin Independence Army (KIA), saying that the government troops will stop military offensive against the area of Lakyayan starting Jan. 19 at 06:00 a.m. (local time), according to a press release of the government aired by the state TV at night.
The unilateral ceasefire was offered as security with the government force members as well as with the Myitgyina-Bahmo highway have been in place, said the release.
Ban “calls upon both sides to make serious effort to create conditions for sustained peace in Kachin through enhanced confidence building measures and political dialogue,” the statement said.
“He also calls for renewed access to vulnerable civilian populations in the area to enable the supply of humanitarian assistance to them,” the statement said.
Armed conflicts between the government troops and the KIA escalated since the beginning of this year.
The government claimed that it has negotiated with the KIA for 11 times and the last talks took place in vain on Oct. 30, 2012 with the absence of military leaders from the KIA side to discuss important issues.
The government said that after the failure of the last peace talks, the KIA stepped up attacks on government forces which in return launched air strike against the KIA in the beginning of this year at point-771 hill.
According to official death toll, 35 government troops were killed with 190 others injured in an ambush by the KIA when the government troops sent food supplies to the area of Lajayan outpost.
When Mynamar opposition activist Aung San Suu Kyi made the choice to stay under house arrest in 1989 rather than return to her family in Oxford, she made a personal sacrifice that would leave a legacy of pain within her personal life.
This is the intimate insight given by Aung San Suu Kyi: The Choice, the 2012 documentary about the dissident leader shown last night at Meta House.
Directed by German Mark Eberle and Angus McQueen from England, the film offers a rare glimpse into Suu Kyi’s personal life — and an unflinching assessment of the 21 years of consequences of her lonely choice.
The daughter of General Aung San, the man who brought independence to Myanmar in 1947, Suu Kyi studied at Oxford in the 1960s. There, she married Englishman Dr Michael Aris and had two sons.
When her mother suffered a heart attack in 1988, she was called back to Myanmar, a trip that coincided with demonstrations for democracy in Yangon. As her father’s daughter, she became the prominent figure and face of the movement.
She remained in the country and was detained as a political prisoner in 1989, after rejecting an offer by the military junta to leave and never come back.
It is at that point — when Suu Kyi chooses to stay — that Eberle and McQueen pick up the story. Through a series of interviews conducted in 2011, including one with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who praises Suu Kyi move into politics, the film-makers compile an intimate portrait of the housewife who became a national leader.
The beginning of Suu Kyi’s political activism meant a diminishing role in the lives of her children and husband.
In an extended interview, she admits her sadness, but says she doesn’t regret the decision. The emotional turmoil it caused her children, however, is evident.
In one scene from 1995, Suu Kyi is reunited with her sons. A press photographer arranges the shot: Suu Kyi hugging her son Kim and patting his head. Once it is taken, Kim flees the scene.
In an interview for The Choice in 2011, he is a different man. In his early 30s, divorced with two children of his own, he says his father did not get enough credit for raising him and his brother Alexander while their mother was away. Overwhelmed with emotion, he leaves the scene.
Kim visited his mother in Yangon in 2011. A video shot at the airport shows him urging his mother to travel and spend time with him, in front of many cameras. “Mummy… you have no excuses,” he says.
According to Eberle, the other son lives in a religious community in Chicago and doesn’t visit his mother, though he is said to phone her regularly.
Family friend and Tibetan scholar Dr Peter Carey Oxford, interviewed for the film, goes so far as to attribute the death of their father in part to the hardships he endured while separated from Suu Kyi.
Aris died from cancer in 1999. Suu Kyi didn’t come to his sick bed or his funeral – a decision he supported. If she had left the country, she could never have returned.
Political leaders tend to shy away from justifying what they do on a personal level. After all that they accomplish on the global stage, it seems irrelevant.
In The Choice, Eberle and McQueen do a remarkable job of dismantling the shroud.
What is left is a woman with a dilemma – and a family changed by the pain her choice has left behind.
To contact the reporter on this story: Julius Thiemann at firstname.lastname@example.org