04 June 2014

 

June 11: Providence RI, USA

Who Killed Chea Vichea? returns to Rhode Island for a screening at Providence's historic Hamilton House. Followed by discussion with producer Rich Garella.

Wednesday, June 11 at 1:00 pm
276 Angell St, Providence RI (map)

Free and open to the public.
Info: 401-831-1800

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23 January 2014

 

Statement on Jan 24 screening in Phnom Penh

This post has been updated to reflect the cancellation of the screening.
See article below and the next day's followup.



Due to statements made by Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan (see “Deportation, Jail Threatened if Film Screened,” in today’s Cambodia Daily on page 16), those who planned to attend the screenings of Who Killed Chea Vichea? scheduled for this afternoon and evening should check the following web pages for updated information and please forward this to those you know who may be interested.

ភាសាខ្មែរ (Khmer): http://hub.sithi.org/wkcv/?ln=kh 
English: http://hub.sithi.org/wkcv

We will also post updates on the film’s Facebook page.

As of this writing and to my knowledge, the screenings are planned to go forward as scheduled, at 5pm (Khmer) and 7pm (English) at the new location:

Cambodian Center for Human Rights - CCHR
798 Street 99 (between Street 466 and 474)
Boeung Trabek, Phnom Penh
(map at http://goo.gl/maps/ZUp6O)

Update: 
The screenings have been canceled. Loud Mouth Films respects the right of the host involved to make this decision in light of recent developments.

Regarding the above article "Deportation, Jail Threatened if Film Screened" in the Daily:

Government spokesperson Phay Siphan is cited saying that the government is concerned that the film would influence public opinion. That is exactly the issue here. In a country that respects freedom of expression and freedom of assembly, the people are free to assemble, discuss as they please, and expose themselves to any kind of information and form their opinions freely based on that and on their own conscience.

Cambodian officials have never to our knowledge provided any legal basis for a ban on Who Killed Chea Vichea? or any specific film. In stating that they ban a film without providing any legal basis, these officials demonstrate that Cambodians do not live under the rule of law, but under the rule of power. Two decades after the Paris Peace Accords, and a decade after the assassination of Chea Vichea, the rule of law exists only as a smokescreen. It vanishes whenever those in power find it convenient to blow it away.

Meanwhile the killers of Chea Vichea and those who ordered the killing are still "at large." It is our intent to honor Chea Vichea and many others who struggle, and continue to struggle for basic human rights and a better and freer Cambodia. 

However the government is making the screening of this film into a test of its respect for freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the rule of law. So far today it has failed that test, as it consistently fails, because its fundamental nature is to feel threatened by these freedoms.

Rich Garella, Producer, Who Killed Chea Vichea?
for Loud Mouth Films

Note: The statements above are made by Rich Garella and Loud Mouth Films. No part of them should be attributed to any other individuals or organizations.

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Jan 24: Phnom Penh - Canceled under threat


The first official screenings of Who Killed Chea Vichea? in Phnom Penh in Khmer and in English, below, were canceled after the government threatened deportation of any foreign nationals and arrests of any Cambodian nationals involved. See later posting.



10th Anniversary Commemoration 
and Screening of
WHO KILLED CHEA VICHEA?


Was going to be at
Cambodian Center for Human Rights
798 Street 99, Boeung Trabek, Phnom Penh (map

For the latest updated information, see

Program would have been:
5:00 pm Welcome and screening of Khmer-language version
7:00 pm Screening of English-language version

The welcome would have been by Rong Chhun, President of the Cambodian Federation of Unions.

Both screenings would have been followed by Q&A with:
  • Chhorn Sokha, Program Officer for Labor Rights, CLEC
  • Rich Garella, Producer, Who Killed Chea Vichea?
  • Dr. Kek Galabru, President, Licadho
  • others might have been announced. 
Sponsored by
Sithi Hub/CCHR
The Overseas Press Club of Cambodia

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23 November 2013

 

Nov 23: Phnom Penh



Photo from RFA

Congratulations to the Cambodian Center for Human Rights for having the courage to screen Who Killed Chea Vichea? in Phnom Penh.

The screening took place on the International Day to End Impunity, November 23. It reminds us that although Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun, the two men falsely convicted and imprisoned for the murder of Chea Vichea, are finally free, the real killers have still never been identified or prosecuted.

Who Killed Chea Vichea? examines the case and demonstrates that Cambodian authorities from the police on up were instrumentally involved in the murder. This case and many others show that impunity is still the rule in Cambodia. It must end.

Read the story at Radio Free Asia (English translation here).

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25 September 2013

 

Final verdict in case of Vichea 'killers'

Almost ten years after the murder of Chea Vichea, the two men featured in Who Killed Chea Vichea? went to Cambodia's Supreme Court on Wednesday for their final appeal.

The presiding judge acknowledged that the two had no connection to the crime, saying, “We have no evidence to say that Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun were guilty ... Furthermore, the two people could not have been present at the scene, as they were both in the provinces.” (Phnom Penh Post) This is exactly what we proved in Who Killed Chea Vichea?.

The result? The court has dropped all charges and ordered their immediate release from prison.

Listen: Bradley Cox commentary
(ABC Australia radio interview)

This ruling is very welcome news. But there is still no reason to conclude that the court’s decision demonstrates judicial independence.

In the wake of the July elections, the government’s legitimacy is on the brink of collapse. Despite tilting the playing field steeply to its advantage, the ruling party was able to claim only a narrow victory, and that claim is hotly contested. Suddenly both the people of Cambodia and the international donor community see that Hun Sen will not rule forever, and perhaps not even for long. Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party are now engaged in a desperate effort to improve their image. Meanwhile as far as we can tell the Supreme Court hearing was scheduled only after the election. So the release of Samnang and Sok Oeun may signal desperation, but it is not evidence of actual judicial reform.

Read: Commentary from
Human Rights Watch

• If Cambodia's judicial system were independent, the prison doors would open too for land-rights activist Yorm Bopha and others now imprisoned for challenging official abuses.

• If Cambodia's judicial system were independent, we would see a serious investigation into who killed Chea Vichea, instead of the decade-long charade during which the courts did practically nothing more than investigate and imprison two innocent men who knew nothing about it.

• If Cambodia's judicial system were independent, we would see investigations and prosecutions of all of those who worked together to frame Samnang and Sam Oeun — those who manufactured evidence, those who lied in sworn testimony, those who extracted Samnang’s confession by threats and torture, who cost two innocent men five years of their lives.

Just one example: If you’ve seen Who Killed Chea Vichea? you know that the police took Samnang to the place where the gun was hidden. The court has now implicitly acknowledged that he could not have known where that was. The police knew, because they were working with those who killed Vichea. Today’s ruling was an admission of all this.

But most important today — even if the court’s ruling is part of a public relations effort — is to join Samnang and Sam Oeun and their families and celebrate their freedom!

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03 July 2013

 

July 3: Lisbon

The acclaimed documentary Who Killed Chea Vichea? will be shown for the first time in Lisbon on Wednesday, 3 July. Thanks to the 7th EuroSEAS Conference 2013, the screening is open to the public as well as to those attending the conference, with free admission for all.


Who Killed Chea Vichea? will be shown in the original English and Khmer version, with English subtitles, and will be followed by a discussion with producer Rich Garella.

See poster in English or in Portuguese.


Who Killed Chea Vichea?
Wednesday July 3 at 9:30pm
Cinema Espaço Nimas
Avenida 5 de Outubro 42 
Saldanha, Lisboa (map)

The triennial EuroSEAS conference, organized this time by AIA-SEAS, is the principal gathering for Southeast Asia specialists from across Europe. The screening is financed by Portuguese National Funds, through the FCT (Foundation for Science and Technology).

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28 May 2013

 

May 28: Mae Sot, Thailand

Who Killed Chea Vichea? screens in a double feature with Enemies of the People in Mae Sot on Tuesday May 28 at 8pm.

At the ExPPACT Foreign Correspondents' Club, 206 Intarakhiri Road. Subtitled in English and Burmese.

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07 March 2013

 

Mar 7: Shippensburg, Pennsylvania




On March 7 Who Killed Chea Vichea? screened at Shippensburg University as part of the International Studies Film Series "From Human Wrongs to Human Rights: A Global Undertaking."

The screening was followed by Q&A with producer Rich Garella, and was free and open to the public.

Who Killed Chea Vichea?
Thursday, March 7 at 7:00pm
Grove Hall 101 (Forum)
Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Shippensburg PA (map)

Sponsored by the International Studies Program, the History/Philosophy Department, and the Office of Social Equity. Download International Studies Newsletter with article on the screening here.

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27 December 2012

 

Innocent men re-convicted!

Earlier today in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian Appeals Court upheld the convictions of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun and returned them to prison where they face an additional 15 years to complete their 20-year sentences.

Originally convicted soon after the assassination of labor leader Chea Vichea in 2004, the two men served nearly five years of their sentences before their provisional release was ordered by the Supreme Court on 31 January 2008.
Phnom Penh Post article
Licadho statement
Human Rights Watch statement
The Peabody Award-winning documentary Who Killed Chea Vichea? was released in 2011 and broadcast on US public television that year. Based on over five years of research, investigation and filming, it demonstrates conclusively that neither man was guilty of the crime. Furthermore it implicates members of the security forces and exposes a coordinated plot by the police and courts to frame Samnang and Sam Oeun. The film is banned in Cambodia.

"It's an absolute disgrace," said Bradley Cox, the director of Who Killed Chea Vichea?. "The incarceration of activist Mom Sonando, the killing of environmentalist Chut Wutty, the re-imprisonment of Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun… When will our diplomats pull their thumbs out and do their jobs? They call themselves champions of human rights, freedom of speech and the rule of law and yet they consistently look the other way when they're needed most.

"Shame on the Cambodian government for this travesty of justice and shame on us for allowing it to happen over and over and over again."

"No one can seriously believe they're guilty," said Rich Garella, producer of Who Killed Chea Vichea?. "There hasn't been a shred of evidence presented against them. This re-conviction is heartbreaking, despicable, disgusting.

"In ordering the re-imprisonment of these two men, Hun Sen is being very purposeful. He is showing that he can do anything in Cambodia. He is showing diplomats, opposition politicians and the public in general that he can and will imprison even unimportant regular people. It's not just the influential who must fear him. It's everybody. Hun Sen is being quite open about his position as dictator. He is a dictator by any reasonable definition."

Loud Mouth Films is the production company for Who Killed Chea Vichea?, co-produced by the Independent Television Service with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The film is available in English, French, Spanish and Khmer at www.whokilledcheavichea.com/order.html and by download at www.whokilledcheavichea.com/seeit.html. The Khmer-only version can be seen online at www.vicheamovie.com and is free for distribution within Cambodia.

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04 December 2012

 

Dec 4: Luang Prabang, Laos

The 3rd annual Luang Prabang Film Festival: Celebrating Southeast Asian Cinema, which runs from December 1 to 5, features the Laos premiere of Who Killed Chea Vichea?, in its impressive lineup of films.

"Standout films this year include Who Killed Chea Vichea?, a documentary about the assassination of a Cambodian union leader and the ensuing cover-up." -- TIME magazine

The complete festival program is here.


Who Killed Chea Vichea?
Tuesday, December 4 at 4:00 pm
at Amantaka, 55/53 Kingkitsarath Road
Luang Prabang (map)

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22 November 2012

 

Nov 22: Derry, N. Ireland



Just announced: Who Killed Chea Vichea? will screen in competition at the 25th Annual Foyle Film Festival, running from November 21st through 25th in in Derry, Northern Ireland.

There's a great lineup of films -- check out the full program

Who Killed Chea Vichea?
Thursday, Nov 22 at 2:30pm
Tower Hotel, 17 Butcher Street

Tickets £3, on sale at
the Nerve Centre Box Office and wegottickets.com

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03 November 2012

 

Nov 3: Richmond, Virginia

art6 presents the exclusive Richmond screening of the Peabody Award-winning documentary Who Killed Chea Vichea?, a highly charged murder mystery and political thriller focusing on the assassination of a Cambodian labor leader. Produced by Richmond native Jeffrey Saunders.

There will also be shorts by Mary Beth Reed, abstract hand-painted films mixed with film images, and a film by Charlie Bissey about a young woman watching her own abandonment unfold.

Who Killed Chea Vichea?
November 3, 2012 at 7:30pm

art6 Gallery
6 East Broad St, Richmond VA (map)

Admission: $5
Info: 804-343-1406

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30 October 2012

 

Oct 30: Berlin


Who Killed Chea Vichea? screens for the very first time in Berlin, at Moviemento Kino on October 30.

We are proud to double-feature with We Want (U) to Know, an extraordinary film in which villagers from all around Cambodia take the camera in their own hands to document what they have gone through during and after the Khmer Rouge era.

The films are followed by Q&A with Ella Pugliese, director of We Want (U) to Know and Rich Garella, producer of Who Killed Chea Vichea?.

Tuesday 30.10.2012
8:00 pm - We Want (U) to Know
9:00 pm - Who Killed Chea Vichea?
Kottbusser Damm 22, Berlin-Kreuzberg (map)

Both films mostly in Khmer and subtitled in English.

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17 September 2012

 

Sept 17: Calgary, Alberta

The University of Calgary hosts a screening of Who Killed Chea Vichea? on Monday, September 17th.

The screening is free and open to the public, and includes a discussion after the film with producer Rich Garella.

Who Killed Chea Vichea?
12 noon on  Monday, September 17
MacEwan Student Centre, 1st floor ("That Empty Space")
402 Collegiate Blvd NW, University of Calgary 
 map  •  more info

Thanks to sponsors University of Calgary International, the Department of History, the Department of Political Science and the International Relations program.

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14 September 2012

 

Sept 14-16: DeKalb, Illinois

Who Killed Chea Vichea? is featured in multiple screenings at Imagining Cambodia, the Cambodian Studies Conference hosted by Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois.

Co-sponsors are the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Ohio University and the University of Massachusetts–Lowell. Producer Rich Garella will speak on the Media and Film panel.

These screening are not open to the public, but the new film Lost Loves will screen for the public at 8:00 pm in Cole Hall. Filmmaker Chhay Bora will be there to offer commentary.

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31 August 2012

 

Aug 31: New Delhi

Who Killed Chea Vichea? will be the opening film at the 9th Annual JEEVIKA: Asia Livelihood Documentary Festival, organized by the Centre for Civil Society and taking place from August 31 to September 2 in New Delhi, India.

Friday, 31 August 
at 2:00 pm
India Habitat Centre (map)

This will be Who Killed Chea Vichea?'s India premiere. Thirteen films were selected in the professional category, along with five student films; see the full program.

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01 May 2012

 

LJ: The double cinematic whammy!

A great review for Who Killed Chea Vichea? from Library Journal (May 2012):
This film documents the 2004 assassination of outspoken Cambodian labor leader Chea Vichea. Filmmaker Cox records his own intense five-year investigation of the murder from the moment he arrives on the scene and films Vichea’s bleeding body in the street.
From there on, Cox has the story in his teeth and tracks it where it takes him—from Phnom Penh into Cambodian villages, across Europe, to Canada and the United States. He interviews family members and supporters of Vichea and of the two men who were railroaded for the crime. He speaks to people who provide alibis for the accused men and follows a fearful eyewitness to Thailand to take her statement. 
With strong reportorial instincts, a dogged investigation, and an innate ability to collect, film, and connect the disparate pieces of the story, Cox exposes the government involvement in Vichea’s killing and abuses of power at the country’s highest levels. 
VERDICT: Who Killed Chea Vichea? is the double cinematic whammy: an intense and disturbing true drama and a testament to the power of documentary film.

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A place where heroes die

 
Video by Fran Lambrick of Rubbernaut

Several news articles have drawn parallels between the assassination of Chea Vichea and the murder of Chut Wutty just a few days ago, and rightly so.

Wutty, director of the Natural Resources Protection Group, was shot dead by military police who were apparently guarding a facility of the Timbergreen Company, a mysterious entity involved in clearing land in Koh Kong. The murder took place in the presence of two reporters from The Cambodia Daily. Their gripping account is here.

If you've seen Who Killed Chea Vichea? you'll see a chilling similarity in the short video above, in which Wutty explains why he spent twenty years fighting deforestation — twenty years that ended on Thursday, April 26, deep in the forests of Mondul Seima district.

"The killing is having explosive ramifications, and the parallels with the killing of Chea Vichea are enormous," writes Luke Hunt in The Diplomat. "Chut Vuthy had been prominent in uncovering the secret sell-off of state forests, illegal rosewood harvesting and land grabs in the area where a Chinese dam is being built."

Hunt interviews Bradley Cox, the director of Who Killed Chea Vichea?, who adds:
"He reminds me quite a bit of labor leader Chea Vichea. Both were outspoken, both were willing to stand up for what they believe despite threats and harassment, and both paid the price for their convictions.
"I think there’s a message in this for Cambodians, and that’s to keep your head down and your mouth shut. Most people take this message to heart. There are very few that don’t and that’s what makes guys like Chut Vuthy and Chea Vichea special.
"They gain the admiration of the Cambodian people, but also the ire of the powers that be. And as much as I hate to say it, I doubt this tragedy will be the last."
In AFP coverage, opposition politician Mu Sochua also related the two cases.
Not since the 2004 daylight murder of union leader Chea Vichea has Cambodia lost an activist as influential as Chhut Vuthy, she added, accusing donor countries of "making no noise" in support of ordinary Cambodians' rights. 
"I want to be optimistic, I want to see hope but I'm afraid there is no more Chea Vichea, and there is no more Chhut Vuthy," she said. "They cannot be replaced. That is the aim of those who ordered the killings."
Mu Sochua is right. Just as Cambodia's exploiters are stripping the country bare of the resources the people need in order to survive, they are stripping the country bare of the heroes who fight for a better future. Vichea, Wutty and so many others cannot be replaced, but their work can be carried on.

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30 April 2012

 

April 30 - June 2: New Zealand

The Peabody Award–winning investigative documentary Who Killed Chea Vichea? screens for the first time in New Zealand, in the country's premiere documentary film festival, Documentary Edge Festival 2012 ... and takes top honors in the Human Rights category!

One sunny morning, a motorcycle pulled up to a newsstand in Phnom Penh. Chea Vichea, Cambodia's most prominent labor leader, looked up from his paper and was executed on the spot. Pressured by rights groups and foreign aid donors, the police arrested two local men. They were sentenced to twenty years in prison. Were they guilty, or was their conviction part of a larger plan? Starting at the scene of the murder, director Bradley Cox's investigation leads far beyond the local police, through the courts, to the upper echelons of the ruling party. Banned in Cambodia.

A powerful film — ABC Australia


A devastating exposé of life and death that reveals
the inner workings of a dictatorship … an extraordinary film.
— Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch

A gripping account of a corrupt government’s campaign
to hold onto power at any cost … deeply moving. — Huffington Post

In Auckland, at Event Cinemas Newmarket, 77 Broadway, Newmarket:

Monday, April 30 at 5:30pm
Sunday, May 6 at 1:15pm
Thursday May 10 at 5:15pm
Saturday May 12 at 5:45pm

In Wellington, at Angelika Cinema at Reading Cinemas Courtenay, 100 Courtenay Place:

Monday, May 21 at 5:30pm
Thursday, May 24 at 5:30pm
Sunday, May 27 at 11:45am
Saturday June 2 at 5:45pm

Tickets will be available from the festival web site. Please check out the whole list of 72 films — for multi-film passes see this page.

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29 April 2012

 

RFA: Peabody Award interview

Vantha Kem of Radio Free Asia interviewed Who Killed Chea Vichea? producer Rich Garella about the film's winning a Peabody Award and the Cambodian government's response. The segment was broadcast on April 29, in Khmer. Garella comments:
"We read that the spokesperson for the Council of Ministers, Phay Siphan, said that the Peabody Awards were likely politically motivated. Not surprising, coming from the Cambodian government — political motivation is all they know."
listen (mp3)

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