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Cambodia: Following letter from 33 INGOs & MSIs, Swedish & US Embassy officials urge Cambodian govt. to reopen civic space & respect human rights

"As EBA cuts near, groups appeal for respect of human rights", 28 July 2020

International civil society groups have called on foreign governments to demand that the Cambodian government address its deteriorating human rights record and restore democracy as the country’s “Everything but Arms” trade tariff breaks are set to be partially revoked next month…

The NGOs asked that Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the US echo the EU’s demand that the Cambodian government take concrete actions to address the human rights situation in the country. 

However, a Justice Ministry spokesman emphasized that the organizations’ appeal has no influence on Cambodia as the country is upholding its own laws as a sovereign nation…

Justice Ministry spokesman Chin Malin said … that the call from the civil society organizations has no influence over the government, noting that HRW operates without professionalism…

The US Embassy in Phnom Penh said via email … that the United States has consistently raised concerns about human rights and democracy in Cambodia and urged the government to take steps to reopen the political and civic space.

“We support the Cambodian people and their constitutional right to democracy and fundamental freedoms,” embassy spokesman Chad Roedemeier said.

Camilla Monsine Ottosson, first secretary for democracy, human rights and the labour market at the Swedish embassy said via email … that as a member state of the EU, Sweden stands with the union in its call for Cambodia to respect human rights.

“Sweden has on numerous occasions and at different levels brought up deep concern regarding the situation in Cambodia,” Monsine Ottosson said…

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