HRN Gives an Oral Statement on Cambodia’s Campaign of Suppression for the 42nd Human Rights Council Session in Geneva

On 25 September 2019, HRN gave an oral statement on Cambodia’s ongoing campaign of suppression of political opponents, activists, and journalists, including through detentions, arrests, forced exiles, shutting down organizations, and other forms of suppression. In the statement we urge the international community to recognize and oppose the actions of the Cambodian government as inconsistent with its human rights obligations and the High Commissioner to monitor, report, and offer guidance to the government on the human rights situation in Cambodia.

A video of the oral statement is below as well as the full text of the oral statement.

Thank you, Madam Vice President.

Human Rights Now is gravely concerned by the widespread efforts of the Cambodian government to suppress all forms of opposition by rival political actors, civil society and independent media.

In November 2017, the government-controlled judiciary dissolved the Cambodia National Rescue Party, ending effective political opposition in Cambodia by July 2018. Over 2019, the government has pursued a campaign of intimidation and harassment of political opponents and activists, with more than 147 individuals arbitrarily detained, arrested or forced into exile, with practically anything being a jailable offense.

The government has eroded freedom of press by shutting down independent radio stations and driving independent newspapers to close or fall under the control of government allies. Repressive laws on trade unions and NGOs have also curtailed freedom of expression and association. The result is an explicitly undemocratic state that systematically violates its citizen’s fundamental rights.

The international community must recognize and oppose the actions of the Cambodian government as contrary to its international human rights obligations. We also strongly urge the High Commissioner to monitor and report on the human rights situation in Cambodia and offer guidance to its government towards fulfilling its obligations.

Thank you.