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Article

8 Oct 2021

Author:
Lisa Schlein, VOA

Cambodia: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expresses her concerns over judicial attacks and extra-judicial attacks on human rights defenders amid shrinking civic freedoms

"UN Rights Chief: Repression in Cambodia Is Stifling Fundamental Freedoms", 8 October 2021

U.N. monitors probing Cambodia’s human rights situation say increasing government repression against … civic activists is stifling people's fundamental freedoms.

In a report submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council, U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet praised Cambodia’s economic recovery policies and social protection programs for vulnerable people during the COVID-19 crisis.

But she also slammed abuses by the government ... She said that the government had given law enforcement sweeping powers to curb the pandemic, and that the misuse of these powers was leading to the curtailment of people’s human rights and fundamental freedoms.

… Bachelet said the Cambodian government keeps a tight grip on society, clamping down hard on civic activists and those perceived to be dissidents. She said the human rights situation had further deteriorated since she last reported on conditions in Cambodia ...

… She said human rights defenders were routinely harassed and intimidated and that trade union activists reportedly were denied the right to assemble peacefully.

"We remain extremely concerned with the impunity for attacks against … human rights defenders," Bachelet said."…

… She also called on the state to end the forced evictions of people who received no compensation for the loss of their homes and land. She noted that the state had subsequently granted the land to individuals, including senior government officials and their families…

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