The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Multinational peacekeeping operation kicks off in Cambodia


KAMPONG SPEU, Cambodia -- Servicemembers from 10 countries stood shoulder-to-shoulder on the parade field at the Training School for Multinational Peacekeeping Forces here July 17, marking the start of the Angkor Sentinel 2010 field training exercise, co-sponsored with the U.S. Pacific Command, U.S. Army Pacific and the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces in support of the U.N. Global Peacekeeping Operation Initiative.

During the ceremony, Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Command, Maj. Gen. Peter Pawling said, "the Global Peacekeeping Operation Initiative training approach reflects the process as it continues to involve both conceptually and operationally to meet new and ever changing environments."

Countries participating in Angkor Sentinel include the U.S., Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Philippines, Mongolia, Tonga, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Chief of Operations for Angkor Sentinel, Col. Ker Savoeun, Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, said the opening ceremony will help bring the Cambodian soldiers together with their leadership and allow them both to see what the Global Peacekeeping Operation Initiative is all about.

Over the course of the 14-day Angkor Sentinel exercise, participants will complete lane training in checkpoint operations, patrolling, securing a distribution site, convoy operations, conducting a cordon and search, and securing a disarmament area.

Angkor Sentinel 2010 is the latest in a continuing series of global operation initiative exercises designed to promote peacekeeping capabilities in the Asia-Pacific region.
Read more!

Abuse, Rape Await Sex Workers in Detention: Human Rights Watch

The 76-page report, “Off the Streets: Arbitrary Detention and Other Abuses Against Sex Workers in Cambodia,” is based on interviews with women and transgendered prostitutes in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap.


Sex workers are facing unlawful arrests and abuse by police and other authorities in government detention, Human Rights Watch reported Tuesday.

Citing interviews with 90 different sex workers, the international organization said the women face rape, physical abuse and robbery at the hands of authorities—charges a government spokesman denied.

“The Cambodian government should order a prompt and thorough investigation into these systematic violations of sex workers' human rights and shut down the centers where these people have been abused,” Elaine Pearson, acting Asia director of Human Rights Watch, said.

The 76-page report, “Off the Streets: Arbitrary Detention and Other Abuses Against Sex Workers in Cambodia,” is based on interviews with women and transgendered prostitutes in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Battambang, Banteay Meanchey and Siem Reap.

Sex workers are regularly arrested in sweeps of streets and parks and other sites under a 2008 anti-trafficking law that ill-defines crimes and allows the abuses to occur, the group said. Human Rights Watch found that even members of the anti-trafficking unit were culpable in some abuses.

“Sex workers told Human Rights Watch that police officers beat them with their fists, sticks, wooden handles and electric shock batons,” the group said in a statement. “In several instances, police officers raped sex workers while they were in police detention. Every sex worker that Human Rights Watch spoke to had to pay bribes or had money stolen from them by police officers.”

The group also pointed to “abysmal” conditions in the government center called Prey Speu, where it says at least three people were beaten to death between 2006 and 2008 and where a few sex workers have been detained this year. The center is a collecting point for marginalized groups such as street children, homeless and sex workers.

“The Cambodian government should immediately and permanently close down detention centers such as Prey Speu, where people are being unlawfully detained, beaten up and abused,” Pearson said in a statement. “Prosecuting those who commit these crimes will send a strong message that abuses against sex workers are not tolerated.”

Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, denied the reports' findings.

“The sex trade is an illegal business in Cambodia, but our authorities do not use violence to suppress the sex trade,” he said.

Detained sex workers are kept in “social affairs centers” run by the government, where they are trained for “proper professions,” he said.

“If Human Rights Watch directly raises the names of police who committed crimes against sex workers, we will be happy to receive it,” he said. “But we regard the Human Rights Watch report as an accusation against the police that is not factual nor constructive criticism.”

He called the report an act of “defamation” against the government.
Read more!

Tribunal Investigators Issue Closing Order for Second Trial

All five of the detained leaders—Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Duch—were under investigation for crimes including genocide.



Investigating judges for the Khmer Rouge tribunal have submitted their final order in the case of five detained regime leaders, signaling a close to the investigation.

Prosecutors now have 45 days to issue their own recommendations as the second trial for the UN-backed court moves forward.

“It basically means that now the investigating judges have finished all the investigation in Case No. 002,” tribunal spokesman Lars Olsen said Tuesday. “The prosecutors will make their recommendations to the judges as to whether or not to indict any or some of the charged persons.”

All five of the detained leaders—Nuon Chea, Khieu Samphan, Ieng Sary, Ieng Thirith and Duch—were under investigation for crimes including genocide. A trial is expected in March 2011.

Latt Ky, a tribunal monitor for the rights group Adhoc, called the closing a “positive step” toward the trial.
Read more!