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12 Sep 2020

Khuon Narim, CamboJA

Cambodia: OHCHR and INGOs express concerns over ongoing arrests of HRDs & call on govt. to stop intimidation acts

"UN human rights office calls for release of jailed activists", 11 September 2020

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR) in Geneva has called on the Cambodian government to immediately release the 12 activists who are currently being held on incitement charges and to end its intimidation of civil society organizations.

The … statement from UNOHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani expresses concern over the ongoing intimidation of human rights defenders in Cambodia, noting 24 arrests since union leader Rong Chhun was jailed…

“The current situation marks a deepening of the Government’s intolerance to dissent and repression of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association,” the statement says.

“We call on the Government to immediately and unconditionally release those detained for their exercise of these rights, and to bring an end to the intimidation of civil society actors. We call on the security forces to stop resorting to unnecessary and excessive force and intimidation against those engaged in peaceful protests.”

… Chin Malin, vice president of the Cambodian Committee for Human Rights and spokesman at the Justice Ministry said the UNOHCHR statement is a summary report that uses baseless evidence to cover up the fact that protesters were conducting illegal activities…

Human Rights Watch (HRW) also issued its own statement … calling for the jailed activists to be released.

“The Cambodian authorities’ latest wave of arrests of activists shows a highly disturbing disregard not only for freedom of expression and assembly, but for land rights and the environment,” said Phil Robertson, Deputy Asia director at HRW…