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2 Jul 2024

UN Human Rights spokesperson Thameen Al-Kheetan

Cambodia: UN Human Rights express grave concerns over criminalisation of environment rights defenders and urge govt. to review and bring criminal code in conformity with international human rights law

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"Concerns over harsh sentences against Cambodian environmental activists", 2 July 2024

We are gravely concerned by the conviction and harsh sentencing, from six to eight years in prison, of 10 Cambodian environmental activists on charges, including lèse majesté.

Our monitoring of the proceedings raises concerns that many aspects of the trial procedure may not have complied with international human rights standards binding on Cambodia.

The increasing use by Cambodian authorities of lèse majesté and other articles of Cambodia’s criminal code to penalise the exercise of human rights is deeply worrying.

We call for the case to be reviewed on appeal in line with international human rights law. We also urge the authorities to review the charges brought against these environmental activists, particularly in relation to six of them who were minors at the time the acts were allegedly committed.

We call on Cambodia to hold broad-based public consultations to amend relevant articles of the Cambodian Criminal Code to bring them into conformity with international human rights law...