Update on Mu Sochua court trial and Women's Movement

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dear all,

Today, Tuesday 27th July, a roundtable discussion was organized here in Phnom Penh by the Grassroot Cambodian Women Movement. Several women representatives including Mu Sochua along with garment workers, teachers, university students and political leaders were invited to discuss the future of the movement as well as the use of the fund raised within the context of her court trial (as now the fine will be taken directly from her parliamentary salary).

Speakers and the audience exchanged their views on the importance of strenghtening women's rights in Cambodia, especially through more proactive advocacy. Further, Mu Sochua and the movement proposed to use the money raised as a "Justice Fund" for women facing discrimination and unfair trials. This will be proposed to the various donor groups.

Additionally, a formal committee will be selected as representative of the movement, and elections held, this in the coming weeks.

Please find attached (below) the Joint Statement released by the movement, a Press Release by KI Media is available here.
Orkun neng kdey rick reay,
Best regards,

Khmer Citizens on behalf of the Grassroot Cambodian Women's Movement.



“Supporting and Protecting Women Representatives”

We, a group of Khmer women citizens including human rights advocates, garment workers, sex workers, beer-promotion women, community members, motor-taxi drivers, university students, vendors, farmers, union members, teachers, government officials, and NGO representatives, believe in the potential that Cambodia has to become a great nation respecting equality and rights for all. However, we share an urgent concern regarding the respect of freedom of speech, human rights, and an equitable judicial system in our country.

The Grassroots Cambodian Women’s Movement was formed in view of serious concerns it holds regarding the criminal charges upheld against Member of Parliament H.E. Ms. Mu Sochua relating to the defamation of Prime Minister Hun Sen. On July 10th, 2010, the Movement organized a conference, entitled “Should Women Remain Silent?”, aimed at sharing and encouraging women's perspectives and solutions on their participation in politics as well as to raise support for H.E. Ms. Mu Sochua. A press conference was held later, on Wednesday July 14th, 2010, under the topic “Will H.E. Ms. Mu Sochua keep on her will?” and with the objective to support and protect women representatives, regardless of their political party. Throughout these meetings, we gave our physical and mental support whilst also discussing the importance of women participation in politics. Showing solidarity among us women is our way of expressing our freedom of expression as well as our strong willingness and support, and thereby increasing the protection of women's rights.

We would like to express our gratitude to H.E. Ms. Mu Sochua for her presence today, thereby showing her solidarity to our movement. This is to our national benefit, in particular in serving the needs of Cambodian women and in bringing social changes in justice, democracy, and peace.

However, earlier this month, a report was written and published by the Cambodian Center for Human Rights providing a legal analysis of the Cambodian courts within the context of H.E. Ms. Mu Sochua case. This report introduces and gives recommendations for reforming Cambodia's justice system. We support this initiative and we further call on the Royal Government of Cambodia to show strong commitment and take more visible responsibility in putting in practice the promotion of:
  • Women’s roles and participation in politics
  • Women’s rights
  • Freedom of expression
  • A fair judicial system
We believe in the need to promote Cambodia as a prosperous country fully respectful of democracy and encouraging women leaders at all levels, especially politics. Women leaders have the capacity to provide an important model and source of hope for all women - today and for generations to come. We pray the guardian spirits of our ancestors to help our respected nation to become a country where the judicial system truly respects justice and women's rights.

For more information please contact:
  • Ms. Chrek Sophea 092 293 257
  • Ms. Arun Reaksmey 012 236 653
  • Ms. Neang Sovathana 092 663 062 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 092 663 062


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