News

(31-July-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

Members of the National Election Committee (NEC) met with government figures and representatives of NGOs in Phnom Penh yesterday to discuss the electoral registration process, ahead of a new electronic system set to be rolled out next year.

The meeting comes a week after the NEC sent a draft set of procedures and regulations to political parties, civil society groups and the Ministry of Interior for review, with recommendations needed to be submitted by August 6.

According to Koul Panha, executive director of Comfrel, an election monitoring NGO, while the adoption of an electronic system represents the kind of change needed, how the change will be managed remains unclear.

(31-July-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

Cambodia has rebuked the United Nations after a UN office released a statement admonishing recent political developments in the Kingdom, while an opposition lawmaker is making a last-minute attempt to stop one of those developments from becoming law.

Last Friday, the Senate passed a draft NGO law that was viewed by rights groups as muzzling the sector, while on July 21, 11 opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party activists were sentenced to prison terms of seven to 20 years for a street protest that turned violent a year ago.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) lambasted both events on Monday.

(31-July-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

Human Rights Watch on Thursday added its voice to the criticism of Cambodia’s judiciary for defamation charges brought against Ny Chakyra, a senior human rights advocate who accused two judicial officials in Siem Reap province of misconduct in their handling of a land dispute.

(31-July-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

A Chinese man was arrested by anti-human trafficking police at Phnom Penh International Airport on Thursday as he prepared to board a flight to China with 18 Cambodian men he had organized to work illegally in a garment factory near the Burmese border, police said.

(31-July-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

Six construction workers were arrested on Wednesday and confessed to the gang rape and murder of a 26-year-old karaoke-parlor worker in Phnom Penh’s Pur Senchey district on Saturday night, police said Thursday.

(31-July-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

The government has remained steadfast in the face of domestic and international criticism as the controversial draft NGO law, already passed by the National Assembly and Senate, moved this week to the Constitutional Council, the final step before it is signed into law by King Norodom Sihamoni.

(30-July-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

Twenty-three families in a village in Pursat province currently embroiled in a land dispute with a company owned by tycoon Try Pheap have claimed that authorities are putting pressure on locals in an attempt to quash the issue.

The families, from Sangkum Thmey village in Veal Veng district, trace their roots in the area to the Khmer Rouge era, when their relatives were moved and integrated there.

However, the Pheap-owned MDS Import Export Co has claims to more than 4,400 hectares in the area.

Resident Prak Sophal, 60, said she and her fellow residents fear that the authorities, who have called into question the people’s ownership and the authenticity of their certificates, will not allow them to return to their lands.

(30-July-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

The trial of a woman accused of using acid to murder a teenager she suspected of having an affair with her husband began in Phnom Penh yesterday, almost five months after the attack.

Sroeun Nann, 40, was arrested on March 6, the same day she threw acid over the face and body of 15-year-old Meas Vanny.

Nann accused the girl of romantic involvement with her husband, who worked at the same garment factory where Vanny was a security guard.

After more than two weeks of agony, the teenager – who was previously reported as being aged 20 – died of her injuries on March 21.

While Nann has admitted to the attack, she denies meaning to murder Vanny.

(30-July-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

The opposition is expected today to lodge a constitutional challenge to the controversial law on associations and non-governmental organisations (LANGO) in a last-ditch effort to stop the legislation before it’s signed by the King.

In a 15-page letter to Constitutional Council President Ek Sam Ol, signed by at least a dozen lawmakers and obtained yesterday, the Cambodia National Rescue Party argues that the LANGO, opposed by hundreds of NGOs, the UN, the EU and the United States, breaches several points of the Kingdom’s constitution.

Among the violations, says CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay, are restrictions on freedom of assembly and expression, protected by article 41, and the right to establish associations, stipulated in Article 42.

(30-July-2015 / Phnom Penh Post)

Cambodis's most crucial forests are disappearing at a rate of more than 2,000 kilometres a year, as agricultural firms continue to harvest timber by illegal means in protected areas and national parks, according to a study from Washington-based Forest Trends.

The report, released yesterday evening, uses satellite imagery to link “the growing number of industrial agricultural development projects to the escalating destruction of Cambodian forests”.

Combining data culled from NASA satellite pictures of 32,053 hotspots during the 2012-13 dry season with the measurement of carbon emissions, Forest Trends determined that companies controlling ELCs were logging some of the country’s oldest and most valuable forests.