Get our free emagazine!

Spread the Word to Protect Cambodian Activist Mu Sochua

5 minutes

Cambodian member of parliament, women's rights advocate, and PulseWire member Mu Sochua is in imminent danger of arrest following unfounded accusations of defamation against Cambodia's prime minister.

As the government votes to lift Mu Sochua's immunity, spread the word and raise awareness about her struggle for justice by passing along the following letter, written by Mu Sochua herself. (Tip: Use the "Share This Story" feature to pass this action alert on to your networks.)

As I Walk to Prison

Between 1975-79, over 1.7 million Cambodian women, men and children were killed by the Khmer Rouge, among them my parents. The world community knew about it but watched from afar. Cambodia has come out of genocide and on the road to reconstruction but this stage of reconstruction is stuck and in many ways quickly falling back to point zero. 30 years after the genocide of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia has made some progress but too small. Over 2,000 innocent Cambodian women die every year of childbirth, at least one million Cambodian children go to bed hungry every night, hundreds of thousands Cambodian children and female youth are ruined in brothels, over 200,000 families have been brutally forced of their land and homes, and over 75% of Cambodia's forests have now been destroyed. Innocent lives of my people could be saved if justice were served, if top leaders of my broken nation were less greedy, if development were meant for all.

I left Cambodia as an innocent young adolescent because the Vietnam war was approaching and hundreds and thousands of sick, wounded and hungry families were already telling us that Cambodia was lost. I returned home 18 years later with two young children, to a nation in ruins. A new beginning gave us hope when the UN came to help Cambodia organize its first democratic election in 1993. It cost the world community 2 billion dollars. I became a leader in the women's movement, moving communities and walking the peace walk in city streets and dirt roads to pray for non-violence. I joined politics and became the first woman to lead the women's ministry that was lead by a man, campaigned nationwide to put an end to human trafficking, authored the draft law on domestic violence, signed treaties with neighboring countries to protect our women and children from being prosecuted as illegal migrants but to receive proper treatment as victims of sex slavery.

I witness violence not as a victim but I listen to hundreds and thousands of women and children speak of the shame, the violation, the soul that is taken away when violence is afflicted on their bodies and on their minds. As a politician I always try to take action, to walk to the villages where life seems to have stopped for centuries, I challenge the top leadership of the government - I question international aid.

Today, I am faced with the real possibility of going to jail because as self-defense I dare to sue the prime minister of Cambodia, a man who has ruled this nation for 30 years. Having been assaulted to the point where I stood half exposed in front of men, by a general I caught using a state car to campaign for the party of the prime minister, I found myself assaulted again, this time verbally by the prime minister who compares me to a woman hustler who grabbed men for attention.

Within days my parliamentary immunity will be lifted so the court can "investigate" my case. This is normal procedure for politicians from the opposition party or human rights activists or the poor who cannot bribe court officials. I will be detained in the notorious prison of "Prey Sar" for as long as the courts wish to take.

Many of my colleagues in the opposition, including my party leader have faced this fate for speaking out.

Cambodia receives close to a billion dollars in 2009 from the international community, the USA contributing close to 60 million. Is the world still watching in silence while Cambodia is now ruled by one man? Is the world afraid to say that its aid is actually taking Cambodia backwards?

Let no Cambodian children go to bed hungry anymore. Let no Cambodian woman be sold anymore.

We must walk tall despite being people bent from the trauma of the Khmer Rouge, which is still a part of us. Let us not let our leaders and the world-community use this trauma to give us justice by the teaspoon.

Let there be real justice.

Mu Sochua
Elected Member of Parliament
Sam Rainsy Party


Dear Mu Sochua,
Namaskar from Nepal.
I am so sorry to hear about your country. After reading your article, I talked with my Cambodian friend who is studying in my University, Asian University for Women, She was also so worried about Cambodia. I am touch with your sentences "Is the world still watching in silence while Cambodia is now ruled by one man? Is the world afraid to say that its aid is actually taking Cambodia backwards? Let no Cambodian children go to bed hungry anymore. Let no Cambodian woman be sold anymore."

I think as a global community we all need to raise our voice to be against of Cambodian govenment.

Thank you so much bringing out the fact of Cambodia through the pulse wire.
Hope to be peace and justice in your country very soon.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

philo Ikonya Gacheri's picture

Mu Suchua

Thank you for your strength... I mus work on this later but I fully agree with you. Who will change the world? Us! We must change it for it watches the ubearable. In your words, i feel, hear and touch... smell and taste your power of woman focused on freedom... free Cambodia, free!

more on this later. Full support!

Philo Ikonya

"Communication is the real work of leadership" Nitin Nohria

sunita.basnet's picture

My pleasure to hear from you

I am glad to hear from you. Can you please tell me what's going on in Cambodia currently? I cannot wait to read your next post. keep writing. your words are powerful that can make a difference in your respective community. I believe one day, your writing will bring change in your community and will get chance to read about you and your success.

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Claris's picture

Dont give up

I am truly sorry to hear what you are going through,In Kenya i have witnessed our Justice Minister being elbowed out of the ministerial position by greedy men who want to suck up more power to themselfs.I would urge not to give up despite how tough it gets.When you are in a position of power it is the only time you can help the women of your country.
I am praying for you

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative