Oral statement for the interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights

06/10/2021
Statement

UN Human Rights Council – 48th Session

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

6 October 2021

Madam Vice-President, Mister Special Rapporteur,

FIDH remains concerned by the abysmal human rights situation in Cambodia.

As the country prepares for Commune Council elections in June 2022 and a general election in 2023, there is no sign Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government will create conditions for genuine and inclusive elections in accordance with international law and standards.

Persecution of government critics has continued unabated. Political opponents are on indefinite trial, imprisoned, or in exile. Many have been stripped of their political rights. In a shocking development, the autistic child of an imprisoned political activist has also been arbitrarily detained since June, in contravention of human rights treaties to which Cambodia is a state party.

Human rights and environmental rights defenders, government critics, and political opponents continue to be harassed and arbitrarily detained. At least 91 of them are currently behind bars. Others have been forced to flee Cambodia. However, the Cambodian government relentlessly pursues them abroad.

In addition, the Draft Law on Cybercrime and the Draft Law on Public Order would grant the government broad powers of surveillance of critics, and restrict the right to freedom of expression. The National Internet Gateway, which is scheduled to be implemented by February 2022, could block access to information ahead of the elections.

We urge the immediate and unconditional release of all detained activists, government critics, and political opponents, full reinstatement of their political rights, and an end to all acts of harassment against them and their family members.

Thank you.

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