Thu, 17 September 2009
Opposition leader, pro-democracy campaigner, social worker, and women’s rights advocate Mu Sochua joins the Council to discuss her efforts to oppose sex trafficking, domestic violence, land grabs and corruption in Cambodia. A member of the opposition party in the Cambodian parliament, Ms. Sochua recently attempted to sue Prime Minister Hun Sen for defamation but the court dismissed her suit and instead upheld the prime minister’s counter-defamation lawsuit in August. Sochua was fined and had her parliamentary immunity stripped in a court case that attracted the attention of the UN High Commission on Human Rights. She and other human rights groups argue that the Cambodian government is using the courts to silence political opponents, journalists and human rights activists. Mu Sochua originally served as a member of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet but left the position after witnessing government corruption and is now a senior member of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party. A former minister of women’s affairs, in 2005 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to stop the trafficking of women in the Cambodian and Thai sex trade.