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Statement: HRN Makes Oral Statement During Interactive Dialogue With the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia

The 24th session of the Human Rights Council is being held in Geneva, and Human Rights Now used the opportunity to make an oral statement on land rights issues and the treatment of human rights defenders in Cambodia. Our representative, Ms. Eva Galabry, made the statement during an interactive dialogue with the UN's Special Rapporteur on Cambodia. The following is a transcript of the statement and a link to an online video of the session can found here.

UN Human Rights Council 24th Session.

Geneva, 9 -27 September, 2013.

Human Rights Now, Ms. Eva Galabry.

Madam Vice President and Special Rapporteur,

In Cambodia, serious human rights abuses continue to be perpetrated, including forced evictions and attacks against civilians and activists.

Last year, Human Rights Now conducted a fact finding mission to investigate the land grabbings in Kratie, Boeung Kak Lake and Borei Keila in Phnom Penh. We found forced evictions in those three cases. There were no legal grounds and these constituted violations of land rights. Although the government declared a moratorium of economic land concessions, these land concessions continue to be authorized in 2013, and most farmers still do not have land titles.

Throughout 2012, the arbitrary arrest, detention and prosecution against human rights defenders acting on land rights issues are perpetrated by the government, including the detention and prosecution of the radio owner Mam Sonando, imprisonment of two female housing activists, Tim Sakmony and Yorm Bopha. Ms. Yorm Bopha has been in Jail for over 1 year now.

We also witnessed the police and military use violence against civilians, resulting in the killing of a 14 year old girl in Kratie last year, and of a young man in the course of post-election protests this month. These violations have been normalized in Cambodia.

We expresses grave concern over the human rights situation, and request the Council to extend the mandate of the Special Rapporteur. We urge the Council to closely monitor the situation and strongly urge the Cambodian government to end violence against civilians, to end forced evictions and attacks against human rights activists.

Thank you.

Oral Statement by Human Rights Now, Ms. Eva Galabry, 00:44:37.