Amnesty International Calls on Cambodia for a Fair Verdict in Trial of Government Critic Mam Sonando

Press Release
September 28, 2012

Amnesty International Calls on Cambodia for a Fair Verdict in Trial of Government Critic Mam Sonando

Contact: Carolyn Lang, clang@aiusa.org, 202-675-8761

(Washington DC) -- Amnesty International calls on Cambodia for a fair verdict in the trial of Mam Sonando, a prominent critic of the Cambodian government, which will be delivered October 1, 2012. Sonando has been on trial for anti-state offenses including “insurrection” and “inciting people to take up arms against the authorities” at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court and faces a prison sentence of up to 30 years if convicted.

Mam Sonando, 71, is the owner of Beehive Radio, one of Cambodia’s few independent radio stations that broadcasts programs critical of the Cambodian government and gives airtime to opposition parties.

The charges against him stem from a speech made by Cambodia’s Prime Minister on June 26, 2012, in which he accused Sonando of being behind a plot for a village in Kratie province to secede from Cambodia.

Amnesty International considers the charges to be baseless. The human rights organization considers Mam Sonando to be a prisoner of conscience, arrested and detained for the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression through his radio broadcasts, and is calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.