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‘Human Rights Nobel’ nomination for jailed Cambodians shines light on stifling of dissent


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Jailed activists known as the ‘Adhoc 5’ – accused of bribery in a sex scandal involving opposition leader Kem Sokha – named as finalists in Martin Ennals Award

By Holly Robertson


If Cambodian human rights worker Lim Mony wants to sleep at night, she must pay: up to US$200 a month to secure half a metre of space in the jail cell she shares with 39 other women. Mony, a 62-year-old grandmother, has spent the past year in Phnom Penh’s notorious Prey Sar prison after being detained in what observers say is a politically motivated case.

The grim realities of life in an overcrowded prison, where everything from electricity to food and water has its price, are beginning to crack Mony’s veneer of strength, according to her daughter, Un Bunnary. “Sometimes, I go to visit her and I have to wait one hour [to see her] because she is crying in her room, and she doesn’t want us to see her cry.”

Mony was arrested on April 28, 2016, along with three senior colleagues – Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha and Yi Soksan – from Cambodian rights organisation Adho and the head of the National Election Commission, Ny Chakrya, a former Adhoc staffer. The five were caught up in a sex scandal involving now-deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha when his alleged mistress accused them of bribing her to lie to authorities about their supposed affair, which was being investigated by the country’s anti-corruption unit.


read more http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2091177/human-rights-nobel-nomination-jailed-cambodians-shines-light

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