Cambodian Human Rights Leader Kem Sokha Arrested On New Year's Eve

It looks like 2006 will be an even more difficult year for those fighting for freedom of expression in Cambodia according to this post by Jinja about the New Year's Eve arrest of Kem Sokha. According to news reports, this means that four critics of the government are now in jail awaiting trial.

The charges are based on actions of Mr. Sokha's organization, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, at a public celebration of free speech at Olympic Stadium on December 10. (International Human Rights Day.)

Mr. Sokha is part of the Alliance of Freedom of Expression in Cambodia, a newly formed group of more than 30 NGOs in Cambodia, which launched a national campaign preceding the event, using the yellow ribbon logo above. Mr. Sokha is a strong advocate for freedom of expression in Cambodia and has been outspoken regarding the arrest of Mam Sonando from ‘Beehive Radio‘.

The KI-Media Blog has posted the above photos of the arrest and an eye witness account by Ms. Theary Seng from Phnom Penh and author of the book, Asrei: Daughter of the Killing Fields.

Jinja includes a roundup of news and listserv postings on this topic and promises further updates as they happen.


  • […] Via Jinja who points to this AP wire story about the arrest of the Kem Sokha, Cambodian Center for Human Rights.   It confirms that Yeng Virak, head of the Community Legal Education Center, was also arrested. […]

  • […] The Cambodian Government’s actions to silence critics of the ruling party rang in the New Year with the arrests Human Rights activists Kem Sokha, Yeng Virak and Pa Nguon Teang. The arrests were prompted by banners displayed on Human Rights Day held on December 10, 2005. […]

  • […] On December 31, 2005,  Kem Sohka, Cambodian Center for Human Rights‘ director, and Yeng Virak, head of the Community Legal Education Center, were arrested for allegedly defaming the government in connection with a banner displayed on International Human Rights Day.  So far, five individuals, either journalists, trade unionists, or prominent human rights activists have been arrested based on complaints filed by the government or its leaders.  Most relate directly to opinions expressed about Prime Minister Hun Sen of the dominant Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and criticisms over sensitive border issues with neighboring Vietnam. […]

  • Dr Sev Ozdowski

    I will be visiting Cambodia in December/January and I am trying to establish contact with Dr Kem Sokha via e-mail. Does anybody has his e-mail address. I am the former Human rights Commissioner of Australia.



  • Apsara Angkor

    From the ruin of Angkor Wath!!

    JVII your fore father would have never agree with you all, who have not been able to work in one unit, as a nation of sister and brother hood Khmer!! So let us not criticize one another, let unite and work togerther, regardless of the differences in our view toward the plotic to our mother land Cambodia!! love yall


    Sister!Apsara Angkor

  • Apsara Angkor

    Apsara Angkor!!

    let not be an ego maniac, self center indevidual!! hard headed big shot!! but let us listen to one another, give each an every khmer sister, and brother to share the work, and we all can rebuild Cambodia from ground once again!! Togerther we can bring Khmer pride, our greatest legendary Angkor lost empire back!! And our Khmer dignity as a nation to be proud off!! It’s our home no one can’t tell us what to do with our home, it;s our responsibility!! they can help us to do thing, with no condition: It’s our right as a nation of civilized world!!

    Apsara Angkor!!

  • […] gained international recognition when he was arrested for defaming the Hun Sen regime at a protest in 2005. Shortly thereafter, he was released following a wave of condemnation from the […]

  • […] it seems, negative actions are taken just before the holidays so people will be caught off guard. Activist Khem Sokha was arrested on New Years’ Eve, […]

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