Human Rights Defenders Released With Suspended Sentences

The 23 defendants, including four human rights defenders, charged in Cambodia were released on 30 May, 2014. Their release comes after the Court which had convicted the defendants but suspended their sentences that ranged from six months to four and half years imprisonment together with heavy fines.

They were arrested in early January during a lethal clampdown by security forces charged with bringing an end to mass protests by garment workers and pro-opposition party supporters. Local and international groups have welcomed the release of the 23. However, they express their disappointment regarding the initial convictions and subsequent sentences. The trial was also heavily criticised for lacking due process.

“It was positive that the 23 were able to join their families and fellow activists after months in prison. But the process against them fell far short of international fair trial standards and they remain vulnerable to political whims,” said Brittis Edman, Southeast Asia Programme Director, Civil Rights Defenders.

For further details on this recent development, read our latest joint statement: Phnom Penh Court orders Conviction with Suspended Sentences for 25 Workers and Activists.