Thank you, Mr. Vice- President.
In Cambodia, civil society activists and opposition leaders have been arbitrarily detained for politically motivated charges. Human Rights Now expresses grave concern over the recent arrest of Mr. Kem Sokha for alleged “treason”. Human Rights Now calls on the Cambodian government to immediately cease arbitrary detention and harassment against its opposition and civil society activists.
Furthermore, more than two years have passed since the “709 crackdown” in China. Human Rights Now expresses deep concern with the arbitrary detention and harassment of activists and lawyers involved in the 709 crackdown, including those who were convicted and remain imprisoned, and those detained and awaiting trials. Wang Yu, who was arrested and released last August with confession, recently revealed that she was forced to confess after torture and mistreatment. She remains under effective house arrest and constant surveillance.
Human Rights Now also expresses deep regret over the death of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, who passed away on 13 July 2017. In 2008, on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Liu announced the “08 Charter” and demanded freedom of speech. He was then sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2009 for inciting subversion of state power. The Chinese government kept Liu imprisoned until this June.
Human Rights Now calls on the Chinese government to end its arbitrary detention of human rights defenders. We call on the government to immediately release those who are still arbitrarily detained, end its surveillance of those formerly detained, and cease suppressing people for their human rights work.