(18-October-2015 / KHT)

CNRP vice president Kem Sokha said the first thing his party would do if they win the national election in 2018 would be to reform the Cambodian judiciary system.

In a speech to party supporters in Banteay Meas district, Kampot province, he said the main goal of the CNRP was to enact widespread changes to the way government works in the Kingdom. But he stressed that these changes must come through peaceful elections.

‘National unity’ and ‘political stability’ are two tenets his party would follow if they come to power, he said.

“The CNRP will use all necessary means to make citizens from all walks of life have equal rights to politics, economics and social affairs,” Mr. Sokha said. “Until now, the CNRP never considers someone with different political trends as an enemy. The CNRP won’t avenge anybody either.”

(18-October-2015 / KHT)

Ry Sovanna is a Cambodian citizen, but in 2013 he was not able to exercise one of his most basic rights – voting. Mr. Sovanna was living in Thailand at the time, and there was no way for him to file his ballot in the Cambodian elections. As a scholarship student in Bangkok with a heavy course load, he couldn’t make the trip back home to cast his vote.

“I did not have a chance to vote...because based on Cambodia’s law there is no voting abroad,” he said. “I’m just an ordinary citizen. I just want to vote.”

(18-October-2015 / khmertimeskh)

ALTHOUGH the government has expressed support of the increasingly visible lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Cambodia, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) says the community still faces widespread discrimination, especially in schools.

So, the center has created an introduction to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) program to help protect the LGBT community and inform the wider public. “We provide skills training, supply small grants, publish reports, and run an online web portal full of useful tools,” the center said in a statement.

Its SOGI project coordinator, Nuon Sidara, said: “LGBT discrimination is still high, especially in schools. However, the government shows it supports their rights and we will work with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.

“As we know, LGBT rights are protected in several ways, including the ‘Fourth Women Jewel Principle’ of the Women’s Affairs Ministry. But we still want to know how they continue to do afterwards.”

(16-October-2015 / smh)

Bangkok: Cambodian officials say one of the refugees who arrived in Phnom Penh from Nauru in June has quit Cambodia and returned to Myanmar.
The Rohingya Muslim man in his early 20s had been given refugee status on the basis of a fear of returning to Myanmar, where Rohingya say they have long been persecuted in the majority Buddhist government country. But Cambodia officials said the man became homesick for his native land.

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(16-October-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

In Sweden, Cambodian Woman Wins World’s Children’s Prize Cambodia’s Noun Phymean has won this year’s World’s Children’s Prize, chosen by children from around the globe, and the accompanying $50,000 award for her work offering free schooling and vocational training to some of Phnom Penh’s poorest young people.

Ms. Phymean picked up her award at a ceremony in Sweden on Wednesday, joining the ranks of the prize’s 40-odd past laureates of the “Children’s Nobel Prize” since 2000, including last year’s winner, internationally renowned girls’ rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

(16-October-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

Teenager Arrested for Rape of Neighbor, 12, in Battambang A 14-year-old boy raped his 12-year-old neighbor on a cassava plantation in Battambang province on Wednesday after luring her away from her home, a police official said Thursday.

The teenager was arrested at his house in Sampov Loun district’s Serei Meanchey commune that afternoon and confessed to raping the girl, according to deputy district police chief Ly Rum.

“At about [noon], the girl’s mother left the house to visit her neighbor about 40 meters away and left her daughter alone,” Mr. Rum said.

“Unexpectedly, the boy arrived [at the victim’s house] and convinced the girl to visit the cassava plantation nearby,” he said. “The girl agreed to go with the suspect because he promised to give her as much money as she wanted.”

(16-October-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

Refugees From Nauru Move Out of Phnom Penh Villa The first group of refugees to arrive in Cambodia as part of a controversial deal the government struck with Australia a year ago have moved out of their temporary accommodations in Phnom Penh, the Australian government said Thursday.

Four refugees arrived in Phnom Penh from the South Pacific island of Nauru on June 4 and were immediately whisked off to a gated villa in the city’s south, where they were sequestered since.

(16-October-2015 / Cambodia Daily)

Official Facing Trial Over Facebook Post An Information Ministry official has been charged with defamation over a Facebook post accusing a CPP senator of being the mistress of a military general, and has been summoned to trial on Monday.

According to the October 5 summons, Prum San, deputy director of the ministry’s information department, posted the offending message about Senator Keo Mally on his Face­book page in July and was charged last month.

“Prum San was charged with public defamation,” the summons says. “The court orders Prum San, 52, to come to stand trial at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on October 19.”

(15-October-2015 / RFA)

Ethnic Minority Villagers in Eastern Cambodia File Court Case Over Land Grab ndigenous villagers in eastern Cambodia’s Mondulkiri province have filed a complaint in local court against military officers and a land speculator who forcibly confiscated more than 80 hectares (198 acres) of their land, an official from a rights group said Thursday.

Phnong indigenous villagers from 44 families in the province’s Keo Seima district filed the complaint on Sept. 27 after the local military chief, Sak Sarun, and land speculator, Lek Ha, forced them from their homes and seized their rice fields in June, said Sok Ratha, provincial coordinator for the domestic rights group Adhoc.

The seizures took place even though provincial authorities had issued the families certificates of ownership for the land, he said.

Adhoc is intervening on behalf of the villagers to ask the provincial prosecutor to see that justice prevails in the dispute.

(14-October-2015 / huffingtonpost)

When Meas Sophanuth started to transition in high school, his mother -- afraid that her child would bring shame to the family -- tried to stop what she saw as his “unnatural” behavior.

She took away his phone, kept him at home, and forbade him from seeing his friends. She finally took her son to a traditional healer, known in Cambodia as a Kru Khmer, in the hope that the shaman would be able to “cure” him.