We are deeply concerned by the conviction and harsh sentence of Mam Sonando, a Cambodian independent broadcaster. Today the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced him to 20 years in prison for alleged insurrection. A number of observers in Cambodia have noted that the charges against him appear to have been politically-motivated, based on his frequent criticism of the government.
We strongly support freedom of expression, including the rights of members of the press to peacefully express political views without fear of persecution, retribution, or intimidation, consistent with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We call on the Cambodian government to release Mam Sonando immediately, to ensure that its court system is free from political influence, and to reaffirm its commitment to guaranteeing its citizens’ basic human rights.