Cambodian Center for Human Rights Statement on the Release of Kem Sokha Pa Nguon Teang Mam Sonando and Rong Chhun
17 January 2006
Statement on the Release of Kem Sokha, Pa Nguon Teang, Mam Sonando, and Rong ChhunThe Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) welcomes the government’s decision to release Mr. Kem Sokha, Mr. Pa Nguon Teang, Mr. Mam Sonando, and Mr. Rong Chhun today and expresses hopes that all criminal defamation charges filed against them, including Yeng Virak who was released January 11 and others at large will be immediately withdrawn.
While the release is welcomed, Kem Sokha, CCHR’s president, and Pa Nguon Teang, director for CCHR’s Voice of Democracy (VOD) radio program, Mom Sonando, owner of Beehive Radio, and Rong Chhun, president of Cambodain Independent Teacher's Association, said that they will continue to do what they are doing to inform the people about human rights, democracy, freedom of expression, and issues of national concern through CCHR’s public forums, radio programs and other venues.
The five ex-detainees (including Yeng Virak) gathered together at CCHR office after their release expressed their gratitude to the embassies, local and international organizations, development NGOs, human rights organizations, media, individuals and Cambodian organizations and individuals abroad for showing their concern and support to the detained human rights activists. They asked these groups and individuals to continue their effort until their charges are withdrawn.
The support of the international community is a sign that we the Cambodian people are not alone in our struggle to promote human rights, democracy and freedom of expression. The release of the five human rights activists has given hopes to the Cambodian people to continue to exercise and fight for their rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.
Mr. Ou Virak
Public Relation Officer
Cambodian Center for Human Rights