Jan 24

2014

January 2014 – Cambodia: Global Diligence lawyers engaged to conduct investigation into fatal shootings and other possible international crimes

On behalf of Cambodian victims, the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) has engaged Global Diligence LLP partner, Richard J Rogers, to investigate the alleged crimes committed against civilians by Cambodian State security forces, including the recent fatal shootings of demonstrators by Military Police in Phnom Penh.

As reported in the Cambodia Daily (“Lawyer to Assess Whether Government Crimes Worthy of ICC”, dated 8 January 2014):

CNRP Vice-President Kem Sohka said during a press conference as party headquarters yesterday that efforts to launch an international investigation into CPP’s action would, at least, serve to remind the Government that crimes against its people can be punished.

“If [Mr Rogers’ team] find crimes committed against humanity, the lawyers will place a Complaint with the ICC” he said.

But if they find the crimes do not have enough ground, it will make the perpetrators and others be careful and pull back and stop.”

A team of Global Diligence lawyers will collate information and conduct an independent legal analysis of the evidence relating to serious and systematic human rights violations from 2002 to date. The investigation, which is expected to take three months, will rely on the Siracusa Guidelines for International, Regional and National Fact-Finding Bodies and forms part of Global Diligence’s expanding practice in independent human rights investigations.

Following the analysis of evidence, the team will advise victims on whether the evidence is sufficient to file a complaint (known as a ‘communication’) to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

An English translation of the CNRP Press Release, dated 7 January 2014, is attached herewith:

PRESS RELEASE

Cambodia National Rescue Party

“International Lawyer Engaged to Assess Crimes Committed by Cambodian Security Forces”

The Cambodia National Rescue Party is deeply concerned by the increasing level and intensity of violence committed by Cambodian State security forces, under the government of the Cambodian People’s Party, against Cambodian civilians.

Over the last few months Cambodian State security forces have on several occasions breached national and international law by using unnecessary and excessive force – including live ammunition – against civilian demonstrators who were legitimately exercising their rights. The number of dead and injured victims is rising. There has been no attempt by the authorities to investigate these incidents properly.

If the Cambodian security forces commit illegal violent acts as part of a widespread or systematic attack against the civilian population, this would amount to a crime against humanity. Any person who commits, orders, solicits, induces, or otherwise aids or abets a crime against humanity, would be liable to prosecution before the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands.

To assess whether the current situation justifies action before the International Criminal Court, the CNRP has engaged an experienced international lawyer, Richard J Rogers, who is specialised in international criminal and human rights law. Mr Rogers will lead a team of international lawyers who will analyse the evidence of crimes committed by Cambodian security forces and, if justified, file a request to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to initiate investigations into the situation in Cambodia under Article 15 of the Rome Statute. Other avenues for legal redress will also be considered.

photo credit : Reuters