Oral statement for the Interactive Dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia

27/09/2017
Statement

Mr. President, Madam Special Rapporteur,

FIDH thanks you for your update.

We condemn the Cambodian government’s intensified crackdown on human rights defenders, activists, government critics, independent media, and members of the political opposition.

We are now witnessing a full-on attack on Cambodian civil society, which is likely to continue in the months leading up to next year’s general election, scheduled for 29 July 2018.

Without the ability for Cambodian citizens to fully enjoy their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association, there is no chance that next year’s election will be credible, inclusive, or participatory.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s administration continues to rely on draconian laws, repressive government agencies, and a judiciary that lacks independence from the executive branch to silence any expression of dissent.

We call on the government to repeal the Law on Associations and NGOs, and stop arbitrary arrests and prosecutions of activists, human rights defenders, and government critics. All those currently detained, including land rights defender Tep Vanny, must be immediately and unconditionally released.

Cambodian civil society needs the support of the international community now more than ever.

We urge the council to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur for two more years and instruct her to provide an update on the human rights situation in Cambodia at its 38th regular session. If the human rights situation further deteriorates, the council should also hold an urgent debate on Cambodia at its 37th regular session.

Thank you.

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