Re: Attack against Mr. Sath Savuth, Mr. Seng Sarom

Re: Grenade attack against Mr. Sath Savuth, July 21, 2007, Thlath Commune, Anlong Veng District, Oddar Meanchey Province; Shooting death of Mr. Seng Sarom, ADHOC human rights defender, Stung Treng Province

To: H.E. Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen and others

From: Gail Davidson, LRWC

Date: 2007-07-26

LRWC has received a report of a July 21, 2007, grenade attack against Mr. Sath Savuth, age 41, a human rights defender working on protection of forests and land rights in Thlath Commune, Anlong Veng District, Oddar Meanchey Province. We understand this is the second time an attempt has been made on Mr. Sath Savuth’s life; in July, 2005, he was working in Tumring Commune, Sandan District, Kampong Thom Province, and was attacked by unidentified assailants. It is reported that there was no investigation of the 2005 attack, and no arrests were ever made.

We are alarmed about this July 21, 2007, grenade attack against Mr. Sath Savuth which follows very soon after the July 4, 2007 shooting death of Mr. Seng Sarorn (or Saron), another human rights defender working with ADHOC in a forestry community in Stung Treng Province.

We remind your government that Cambodia has ratified all key international human rights conventions. The Constitution of Cambodia ensures full protection of international human rights in Cambodia. The UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 9, 1998, Article 1, states that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.” We draw your attention to Article 9.5 states that “the State shall conduct a prompt and impartial investigation or ensure that an inquiry takes place whenever there is reasonable ground to believe that a violation of human rights and fundamental freedoms has occurred in any territory under its jurisdiction.”

Therefore, we urge the Royal Government to insist that authorities conduct thorough and impartial investigations into the grenade attack against Mr. Sath Savuth and the shooting death of Mr. Seng Sarorn in order to identify those responsible and to bring them to justice according to the law. We also urge your government to put a stop to all harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders in Cambodia.

We look forward to receiving your response.