On 28 April 2016 five Cambodian human rights defenders were arrested and have been detained for over 300 days without being charged or released. They are Ny Chakrya, Lim Mony, Nay Vanda, Ny Sokha and Yi Soksan.
Of the five being detained four are men and one is a women. Four of them (Mony, Vanda, Soka and Soksan) were working for the Cambodian NGO Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) but are now holed up in Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison. The last member of the five, Ny Chakrya is a man, who previously worked as deputy secretary-general of the National Election Committee and is now being detained in the Police Judiciare.
In response to this other human rights campaigners have created the #FreeThe5KH campaign in order to raise awareness of their plight and apply pressure to government officials to either release the five or charge them and let them defend themselves in the Cambodian legal system. It also aims “To garner support for the detained human rights defenders, to remind them that the public has not forgotten about their cause and to help keep their morale high while they remain in arbitrary detention.” The campaign is currently being supported by 55 local and international implementing partners.
Support for the detained five, the promotion of human rights and for public campaign in general can be shown in different ways. You can share written messages of support on Facebook and Twitter using the #FreeThe5KH, you can send a postcard of support to the detainees in prison to be delivered by the campaign organisers, you can listen to the radio stations of local partners to hear messages of support being read out and you can register your organisation that supports and implements the campaign.
To mark the one year anniversary of the detainees the “I am the five” photo campaign has been designed and implemented. It is an effort to gather 365 photos, one representing every day the campaigners have been held in detention, which are to be published on the campaign’s Facebook page. People all around the world are being encouraged to submit a photo in which they hold the #FreeThe5KH face mask template in front of their faces or a sign hiding their face that says #FreeThe5KH. The main objective is to show collective solidarity for the detainees.
Do your bit to support the detained five, promote human rights and call for accountability by taking a #FreeThe5KH “I am the five” photo today in front of a famous landmark or location in your home city or country and submitting it to the campaign organisers.