Aug 30, 2019:
CHRI and 27 international human rights organisations working within and outside Cambodia have published a letter calling on States to address the ongoing human rights crisis in Cambodia and to support a resolution ensuring strengthened scrutiny of the situation in the country at the upcoming 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC).
The human rights situation in Cambodia, including that for the political opponents, human rights defenders, and the media, has drastically worsened since the last Council resolution adopted in September 2017. Since its National Assembly elections in July 2018, key opposition figures have remained either in detention or in self-imposed exile out of fear of being arrested. Human rights defenders have been detained and convicted on baseless charges. The lese majeste (insulting the King) clause, enacted into the Penal Code in March 2018, has been used by the Government, along with the judiciary that lacks independence, as a political tool to silence critical voices. The Government has shuttered almost all independent media outlets, and totally controls national TV and radio stations. Repressive laws – including the amendments to the Law on Political Parties, the Law on Non-Governmental Organizations, and the Law on Trade Unions – have resulted in severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association.
In the letter, the NGOs ask the States “to acknowledge the severity of the human rights situation and the risks it poses to Cambodia’s fulfilment of its commitments to respect human rights and rule of law and to explicitly condemn the Cambodian Government’s attacks on human rights norms”. It calls for a comprehensive assessment of the human rights situation in Cambodia and identification of concrete actions that the Government needs to take to comply with its international human rights obligations. The NGOs strongly urge the States “to support the impending resolution renewing the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia for another two years and to ensure that the resolution reflects the gravity of the situation in the country”.
You can read the full letter here.
ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR)
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)
Asian Legal Resource Centre (ALRC)
Cambodian Alliance of Trade Unions (CATU)
Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR)
Cambodian Food and Service Workers' Federation (CFSWF)
Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC)
Cambodian League for the Promotion & Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)
Cambodian Youth Network (CYN)
Cambodia's Independent Civil Servants Association (CICA)
Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL)
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Civil Rights Defenders (CRD)
Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)
Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI)
FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights
Human Rights Now
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA)
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC)
National Democratic Institute (NDI)
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières - RSF)
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)