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Article

17 Mag 2020

Author:
CCHR & Others

Cambodia: 66 CSOs call on govt. to amend Law on a State of Emergency to protect civic freedoms and human rights

"CSOs voice concern over state of emergency law", 14 May 2020

A government spokesman said civil society organisations (CSOs) don’t seem to understand the purpose and content of the state of emergency law.

The remarks were made by Ministry of Justice spokesman Chin Malin after CSOs repeatedly requested that the government amend the law as they worried that it threatened human rights.

A joint statement released by 66 CSOs and communities … called on the government to undertake immediate and meaningful consultation with relevant stakeholders, including the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to ensure compliance with Cambodia’s human rights obligations.

“While we acknowledge that the government has stated that its goal in drafting this law is to protect public health during the Covid-19 pandemic, we, the undersigned CSOs and communities are very concerned that this law grants the government excessive powers to restrict fundamental freedoms and therefore poses a serious threat to human rights,” the statement read.

It said the state of emergency law had been hastily passed and without sufficient consultation with relevant stakeholders…

The CSOs request a revisit after they observed that while Cambodia experienced the Covid-19 problem, the government and police arrested 40 people and accused them of sharing fake news on the virus.

Among them, VFB online journalist Sovann Rithy was also arrested and had his licence revoked.

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