Kem Sokha, the leader of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (C.N.R.P.), was arrested during the early hours of Sept. 3, reportedly without a warrant and in violation of his parliamentary immunity. Dozens of police officers surrounded his home in Phnom Penh, while a group of armed men forced their way inside.
He has since been charged with treason — and with conspiring with foreigners to overthrow the Hun Sen government — based on a 2013 speech in which he described wanting to bring peaceful, democratic change to Cambodia and receiving advice from American experts. On Monday, during a session that the C.N.R.P.… Seguir leyendo »
On Dec. 29, more than 100,000 Cambodians — garment workers, teachers, farmers and students from all over the country — marched through the streets of the capital calling for Hun Sen, our long-serving prime minister-dictator, to step down or allow an independent investigation into the flawed national elections that took place in July.
The massive demonstration was the culmination of months of nonviolent rallies and marches led by the Cambodia National Rescue Party (C.N.R.P.). It was also the most significant challenge to Hun Sen’s 28-year reign of exploitation and corruption.
And he could not tolerate it. He would sooner draw blood than enact real reform.… Seguir leyendo »
An anti-logging activist is murdered, a teenage girl is shot and killed by police during a forcible eviction, 13 women are sentenced to up to two-and-a-half years in prison simply for holding a protest on land from which they’ve been expropriated. These are recent examples of the all-too-familiar human rights abuses that result from the Cambodian government’s disastrous land policy.
Investment in Cambodia’s agriculture sector is long overdue. But instead of passing reforms that would help the country’s many farmers and villagers better use their land — 80 percent of the total population is rural — the government has signed off almost 11,600 square miles of Cambodia’s arable land to investors, including major Chinese and Vietnamese companies and local firms with ties to the governing Cambodian People’s Party (C.P.P.).… Seguir leyendo »