Oral Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights

25/09/2019
Statement

Madam Vice-President, Madam Rapporteur,

FIDH welcomes your report.

We remain extremely concerned about the closing civic space in Cambodia, including online space, and the continued acts of harassment perpetuated by the Cambodian authorities against human rights defenders and political activists.

Human rights activities continue to be systematically interfered with, or monitored by, state authorities. Of particular concern are reports of the use of security forces in land conflict areas to intimidate and attack land and environmental rights defenders.

The verdict in the case against two former Radio Free Asia journalists on spurious charges of providing “information to foreign interests detrimental to national security” is due to be announced on 3 October. We urge the Cambodian authorities to immediately drop all charges against the two former journalists, who were targeted for merely doing their work.

We are particularly disappointed by the ongoing arrest of political opposition activists on allegations of planning to rally in support of exiled opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who has vowed to return to Cambodia in November. We also condemn the issuing of the latest arrest warrants against Sam Rainsy.

Finally, we urge the immediate and unconditional release of the leader of the now-defunct Cambodia National Rescue Party, Kem Sokha, currently under house arrest and still facing fabricated charges of treason. We recall that his detention was declared arbitrary by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on 19 April 2018.

Thank you.

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