Geneva – UN human rights experts today called on the Cambodian authorities to release and drop charges against two men who were arrested in connection with activities marking the third anniversary of the murder of political analyst and social activist Kem Ley.
Mr. Kong Raiya was arrested on 9 July 2019 over Facebook posts selling t-shirts featuring the image of Kem Ley and providing details for a taxi service to the commemoration service the following day. Mr. Soung Neakpaon was arrested on 10 July 2019 while attempting to participate in the commemoration service. Both men were charged with ‘incitement to commit a felony’.
“We are concerned about the arrest, detention and criminal charges brought against Kong Raiya and Soung Neakpaon,” said the UN experts. “According to information we have received, Kong Raiya and Soung Neakpaon were engaged in the legitimate exercise of their freedom of speech and Soung Neakpaon was about to participate in a peaceful commemoration ceremony. We are concerned that, yet again, the authorities are targeting free speech and peaceful assemblies.”