Cambodia: NGOs representatives meet with UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights to highlight the situation of human rights

Author: Vida Taing, Khmer Times, Published on: 30 April 2019

"Civil society groups meet Rhona Smith", 30 April 2019

Representatives of 10 civil society groups ... met the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia and highlighted problems they face carrying out their activities.

They claimed that some authorities discriminated against NGOs monitoring human rights, and restricted access to information, but cooperated with other civil society groups dealing with social development.

Ny Sokha, who represented rights group Adhoc, ... said that during the meeting with UN envoy Rhona Smith, the groups raised issues such as human rights violations and the law on NGOs which restricts freedom of assembly...

“Officials follow us closely to monitor our activities on the ground. Police question us as well as people who attend our forums and workshops,” Mr Sokha said. “We find it annoying and frustrating.”...

Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak ... dismissed the groups’ accusations, saying that the government has put in much effort to promote cooperation with civil society groups.

“If the government restricted them, how could they meet with Ms Smith? How could they report badly about the government to her? This is unacceptable,” he said.

..., Ms Smith commented on her meeting with the civil society groups. “Today I had various briefing sessions with different organisations, which include UN agencies and civil society organisations. A series of government meetings have been requested, the schedule has not yet been finalised. I requested a meeting with the Prime Minister but to date this meeting has not been arranged.” she said...

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