Cambodia civil society launches #Freethe5KH campaign

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undersigned civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations in Cambodia launched 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.

As part of the campaign, concerned citizens messages of solidarity to the five rights defenders via postcards will be delivered to the detainees until they are released.

The five human rights defenders – four senior staff members of 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.

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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.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud

Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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