Cambodia: HRW calls on authorities to reveal the whereabouts of a land activist forcibly disappeared in Preah Vihear province

Author: Human Rights Watch, Published on: 21 March 2019

"Cambodia: Investigate Land Activist’s ‘Disappearance’", 20 March 2019

Cambodian authorities should immediately reveal the whereabouts of a land activist forcibly disappeared in Preah Vihear province, Human Rights Watch said …

…, soldiers from Battalion 261 of Army Command Intervention Division 2 of the Cambodian armed forces arrested Sum Moeun, 54, a community leader in a local land dispute, and his son, Moeun Mean, 26,... Soldiers transferred them to Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary Headquarters, where they were detained … only Moeun Mean was taken before the provincial court prosecutor. The wildlife sanctuary headquarters said that Sum Moeun had escaped…

“The Cambodian government needs to produce Sum Moeun in court and lawfully charge him or return him home to his family,” said Brad Adams, Asia director...

…, Cambodia ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED), which defines an enforced disappearance as the arrest or detention of a person by state officials or their agents followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty, or to reveal the person’s fate or whereabouts…

The convention against enforced disappearances obligates the government to investigate allegations that a person was forcibly disappeared, even in the absence of a formal complaint. The authorities are also required to take appropriate measures to protect relatives from any ill-treatment, intimidation, or sanction as a result of the search for information about a “disappeared” person.

“Sum Moeun’s wife has not heard from him since his arrest and has made repeated public calls to the authorities to help find her missing husband,” Adams said…

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