Statement on “Justice Must Prevail Over Violence”

Recent incidents in Chlong District, Kratie highlights an alarming rise in violence and intimidation against civilians and in particular women protestors and that must stop immediately. Gender and Development Network (GADNet), Cambodian Men’s Network (CMN), and SILAKA calls on the Royal Cambodian Government to take immediate action to prevent these breaches of human rights from occurring and to thoroughly and independently investigate all recent incidents of violence and intimidation. Perpetrators must be brought to justice. The involvement of private security forces, as well as Government armed forces in recent incidents makes it even more disturbing, as the boundaries between private enterprise and a Government mandated with serving the interests of all Cambodians is increasingly unclear.

Reports in the Phnom Penh Post that 1000 armed troops were deployed in Kratie to disperse civilians and that women were forced to remove clothing, followed by detention out in open public space, are particularly concerning. Not only are human rights being breached, but these actions signify specific intimidation of, and disrespect for women. As a signatory to international human rights conventions, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, in addition to national laws, this incident is in clear breach of Cambodian and international law. GADNet, CMN, and SILAKA call for an independent, gender-sensitive investigation into this alleged incident and bring the perpetrators to justice.

All Khmer have the right to live in peace, free from intimidation and violence. Cambodia has a legal framework to deal with disputes fairly and peacefully, but it requires political will to ensure a fair and just judicial system. GADNet, CMN, and SILAKA implore the Royal Government of Cambodia to strengthen the use of proper, fair legal processes and take comprehensive action to end the culture of impunity and serious discrimination against women. The Royal Government of Cambodia must take immediate action to fulfill its role in protecting and serving the people of Cambodia.

More information contact:
Ms. Ros Sopheap, Gender and Development Network Secretariat
Tel: 012 62 78 57

Ms. Thida Khus, Executive Director of SILAKA
Tel: 012 838 464Email:

Mr. Mao Syheap, CMN secretariat
Tel: 012 594 484