On the occasion of the international Right to Truth Day - 24 March 2014 - the Cambodian Center for Human Rights ("CCHR") launched its new "Where Is My Justice?" campaign and called on all partners and supporters to join CCHR in demanding truth and justice for victims of violence by security forces in the Kingdom of Cambodia ("Cambodia").
Immediately following the contested National Assembly Elections, which took place on 28 July 2013, Cambodian people were able to exercise their right to freedom of assembly in an unprecedented manner. However, on 15 September 2013, security forces resorted to their old tactics and have since repeatedly and disproportionately used excessive force to crack down on protesters. The post-election violence has already led to the death of six persons, the disappearance of at least one individual and to dozens of injured. However, while protesters have been arrested and are currently facing charges, an independent investigation into the excessive use of force by Cambodian security forces has yet to take place.
Through the production of a video including testimonies of victims and an online petition, the campaign "Where Is My Justice?" offers a platform for victims and their families to claim their right to truth, justice and remedies. The campaign calls on the Royal Government of Cambodia ("RGC") to investigate the human rights violations that took place, bring those responsible to justice and ensure victims receive reparations. If those rights are not guaranteed by the RGC such gross human rights violations will only continue and the cycle of impunity perpetuate.
"While protesters and human rights defenders are incarcerated and have been charged, no independent investigation into the excessive use of force by Cambodian security forces since the elections has taken place. Today, 21 out of 23 arrested protesters are still held behind bars, but no members of the security forces have been independently questioned. Families of the people who died from the bullets of the state forces
need to know what happened to their loved ones and who is responsible for their loss. If the RGC does not send the message that those responsible of such gross human rights violations must be held accountable, such tragic incidents will only re-occur. The aim of this campaign is to ensure victims of human rights violations see justice and impunity for gross human rights violations in Cambodia ends," said Sorn Ramana, CCHR Freedom of Expression Project Coordinator.
CCHR would like to invite civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, human rights defenders, activists and Khmer citizens to join the campaign by taking the following actions.
- Sign the petition calling on Prime Minister Hun Sen to investigate the human rights violations that took place, bring those responsible to justice and ensure victims receive reparations
- Share the video "Where is My Justice?" on your website, Facebook, Twitter account and among your friends and families
- Change your Facebook Profile Picture and Cover Photo to the "Where is My Justice?" visuals in order to raise awareness about the campaign
- Check out CCHR's "Where is my Justice" webpage where you can find all campaign materials including the "Where is My Justice?" video, an advocacy tool kit, and background information.