Ny Sokha

Ny SokhaDate of Birth: July 7, 1965

Marital Status: Married with four sons (22, 18, 15 and a newborn) and one daughter (12)

Occupation: Head of ADHOC’s Human Rights Section

Charges: Bribery of a witness (Criminal Code Article 548)

Possible Prison Sentence: 5-10 years’ imprisonment

Date of Arrest: April 28, 2016

Date of Charge: May 2, 2016

Place of Detention: Prey Sar’s CC1 prison

I am not angry with him, this is part of human rights work, and he did nothing wrong”- Men Leakhena, Ny Sokha’s wife

Ny Sokha started working for the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) in 1992. At the time of the 1993 United Nations-backed election, Ny Sokha worked with ADHOC in Battambang province as a volunteer. He has since worked in Takeo, Kampot and Kandal province, and is presently working at ADHOC’s Phnom Penh office as the Head of the Human Rights Section.

Ny Sokha’s wife is very proud of her husband and his work. He is dedicated to his job and frequently travels to the provinces for work. His wife worries about his security sometimes, but acknowledges that it is his duty and responsibility, and that he cannot give in to fear if he is to be a human rights defender.

Ny Sokha lives with his family in a simple house in Phnom Penh. His wife works as a tailor from home where she makes around 800 Riel for every shirt she makes. She gave birth to their fifth child at the end of June, while her husband was in prison, and is both working and taking care of the household in his absence. “It is hard but I have to do it because all of our family is very poor so we cannot ask for help,” his wife explains. Their children are very upset about his imprisonment: they don’t understand why their father, who works so hard to help his country, can be detained.

Since Ny Sokha was imprisoned, his wife and their oldest son have visited him several times in prison. She is concerned about his health and the unbearable heat in the prison. Ny Sokha suffers from stomach problems, back pain and heart problems. He has become very thin and has to take medicine to sleep.

Ny Sokha’s wife appeals to the international community to help have her husband and their children’s father released. She worries about what will happen with him and his health, and whether he will be able to continue his work once he is released. She emphasises the importance of continuing his work, not only to be able to feed his family and look after their children, but for Cambodia as a whole.

His intentions are so good and many people support him“ – Men Leakhena, Ny Sokha’s wife