Date of Birth: April 15, 1963
Marital Status: Married with one daughter (22) and one son (25)
Occupation: Senior Investigator at ADHOC
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 so proud of my father working for human rights” – San Vattanak Vatey, Yi Soksan’s daughter
Yi Soksan has devoted his life to promotion and protection of human rights for more than 20 years. He started volunteering at the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) in 1991, the year it was founded. Today, Yi Soksan is a Senior Investigator for the organisation. He often goes to the provinces to investigate land disputes – one of the most contentious human rights issues in Cambodia.
Prior to his work at ADHOC, Yi Soksan was working at the Ministry of Information when he was granted an opportunity to study journalism and publications in Germany. He was awarded an associate degree of publications in 1988. Later, in 2005, Yi Soksan was awarded a Master’s degree of law in Cambodia.
Upon returning to Cambodia in 1988, Yi Soksan met his wife whom he married in 1989. They now have two children – a son, 25, and daughter, 22. Their son holds a law degree and their daughter will graduate with a law degree later this year. Both describe their father as a role model who always looks after and encourages his family. Although he works long hours and takes few days off, he always finds time to have lunch or dinner with his family, and often helps his wife with the household chores. Yi Soksan’s son looks up to his father and would like to follow in his father’s footsteps defending human rights. He has already carried out an internship at UNOHCHR, and plans to gain more legal experience to continue in the sector.
Yi Soksan’s wife is worried about him even though he has consistently shown strength and devotion while in prison. She has visited him in prison several times, often with their children. During every visit he smiles and tells his family not to worry about him, but his wife knows the prison conditions are tough and that he smiles only to not worry his family.
“When he comes home from work, he always smiles” – San Vattanak, Yi Soksan’s son