HRN Oral Statement on Cambodia Played at Human Rights Council

HRN submitted a video oral statement on Cambodia to the 48th Human Rights Council session which was played at a meeting on Cambodia on October 6. The statement criticizes the arrest and harassment of political opposition members, human rights defenders, and journalists by the Cambodian government, as well as the creation or use of several laws to repress human rights. We call on the government to end its suppression of rights and recommend that the Council strengthen its monitoring mechanism on Cambodia.

The statement may be viewed on the UN’s website for streams at beginning at 1:11.00 (1h11m). A video of the UN stream is also below, and below that is a transcript of the statement, which is also available from the following link in pdf format: HRC48_OS_Cambodia_Transcript.pdf

6 October 2021

Human Rights Council 48th Session
Item 10: ID with Special Rapporteur on Cambodia
Speaker: Christopher Brendan Bey MUSICK

Transcript of Oral Statement on Cambodia

Human Rights Now welcomes the new Special Rapporteur, and we appreciate his efforts to listen to the civil society voices on the ground in Cambodia.

Since the unjustified dissolution in 2017 of the CNRP, Cambodia’s leading opposition party, the government of Cambodia has continued to persecute political opposition members, including the politically motivated arrest and detention of at least 62 of them and the conviction of nine former CNRP leaders in absentia in March 2021, which four special rapporteurs declared “appalling”.

In its assault on civil society, the government has arbitrarily arrested and detained over 20 human rights defenders since July 2020, three environmental activists this May, and three journalists for criticizing the government’s COVID-19 policy since it began.

Finally, the government has passed or used several laws to repress human rights, including the National Internet Gateway allowing unjustified surveillance and website shutdowns, the State of Emergency law granting unjustified emergency powers and criminalizing the vague “disrespect” of measures, the COVID-19 Preventive Measures law allowing disproportionate punishments for gatherings, and continued abuses of LANGO to harass NGOs.

To respect its international obligations, the Cambodian government must end its campaign of suppression by reinstating the CNRP; exonerating and ending the prosecution of arrested opposition members, human rights defenders, and journalists; and repealing all repressive laws. We also recommend that this Council strengthen the monitoring mechanism for Cambodia.

Thank you.