Human Rights Council: The situation of human rights in Cambodia

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Fabrice Coffrini / AFP

5 October 2022. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) pronounced an oral statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, during the UN Human Rights Council – 51st Session. Read the Oral statement below.

UN Human Rights Council – 51st Session

Item 10: Interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia

5 October 2022

Mister Vice-President, Mister Special Rapporteur,

FIDH welcomes the Special Rapporteur’s report and proposed human rights benchmarks.

However, we remain troubled by the government’s protracted failure to respect key civil and political rights, which was recently underscored by the UN Human Rights Committee’s review of Cambodia’s periodic report.

Civic and political space remained closed before, during, and after the 5 June Commune Council elections. The former main opposition party, the CNRP, remains banned, former opposition leaders are on trial or have been convicted on specious charges, and rising opposition party candidates were arbitrarily delisted, arrested, and criminally charged. Authorities continue to use broad powers granted by various laws, such as the COVID-19 Law, to restrict fundamental rights. Without urgent and strong international pressure, Cambodia will remain a de facto one-party state where there is no respect for democratic principles, the rule of law, and human rights.

We call on the Special Rapporteur to monitor and report publicly on the human rights situation in Cambodia ahead of the general election in July 2023, and on UN member states to raise their concerns at the upcoming Council sessions, should the situation show no signs of improvement.

The Special Rapporteur’s report mentions the case of the enforced disappearance of Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit, who remains missing after more than two years. We reiterate our calls for progress towards truth, justice, and accountability for his disappearance.

Thank you.

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