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Cambodia: 100 NGOs & communities issue a joint letter calling on govt. to repeal Law on Associations and NGOs; while govt. calls CSOs to seek advice

"CSOs asked to seek legal advice over amendments", 11 February 2020

Ministry of Interior secretary of state Bun Honn called on civil society organisations (CSOs) to seek legal advice to better understand and participate during the ongoing amendment procedure for the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango).

He was speaking during a meeting at the ministry’s headquarters … to review the contents of the amendments…

“Amending or enacting each law is difficult and requires a great deal of engagement with legal experts because the spirit of the law is aimed at the objective of each of its articles,” Honn was quoted ...

“The next session will be held to gather important input from the CSOs and submit them to the Royal Government for a procedural review,” he said.

Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community director Theng Savoeun said CSOs have sufficient lawyers and experts at their disposal and have held internal meetings before meeting with the ministry…

“We discussed three articles [of the Lango], including Articles 10, 11, and 20, which CSOs noted have some [negative] impact on the people and civil society,” said Savoeun.

A senior CSO official, …, said several key articles needed to be amended, including Article 11. CSOs have called for the first paragraph to be removed, while the ministry has insisted it be kept…

However, …, 100 CSOs and associations issued a joint statement calling on the government to scrap Lango entirely on grounds that it is unnecessary and merely a tool to restrict freedom of assembly, organisation establishment and expression…

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