Supporting Sonando

Mam Sonando is the owner and director of Beehive Radio, a station praised as one of Cambodia’s few independent news outlets. Earlier today, the 71-year-old activist was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The charges gave little mention to his habit of allowing on-air dissent (he’d already served time for that in 2003 and 2005). Instead, they were for his alleged role in a secessionist movement in Kratie Province, an accusation rights groups are calling baseless and politically motivated.

Hundreds of Sonando’s supporters peacefully rallied outside the court for hours while the verdict was being read. Many refused to let up – chanting, singing, and waving signs amid a heavy police presence. The verdict didn’t go in Sonando’s or his supporters’ favor, but the crowd stayed determined to stand up against what they saw as unjust.

For more information on Mam Sonando, here is a joint statement released after his sentencing on Oct. 1st, 2012.

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