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Article

7 Ott 2021

Author:
Gerald Flynn, Cambodianess

Cambodia: UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights voices his concerns over attacks on human rights defenders and journalists as civic space is shrinking

"Special Rapporteur: Civic Space “Shrinking, Shrunken, Shrunk” in Cambodia", 7 October 2021

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council’s 48th session …, Vitit Muntabhorn—special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia—said that recent years have seen “disturbing, deteriorating backsliding” in relation to the … respect for human rights in Cambodia.

It was the … first report to the Human Rights Council since taking the role … and Muntarbhorn’s opening remarks painted a grim picture of the state of democracy in Cambodia…

In his opening remarks, Muntarbhorn laid out what he called “interlinked challenges” to the advancement of human rights in Cambodia, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic which has strained the capacity of both the government and the healthcare system…

“In recent years, there has been contraction of civic space—shrinking, shrunken, shrunk,” said Muntarbhorn. “Especially due to constraints on activities of human rights defenders, environmentalists and non-governmental organizations where they are seen to be critical of the authorities.”…

Journalists, youth groups, environmentalists, musicians and monks were among those who fell afoul of Cambodia’s latest crackdown on critics, but, as has been a long-running trend for the past four years, the former opposition and their supporters were in the center of the government’s crosshairs…

Meanwhile, representatives from the EU, Iceland—whose representative also spoke on behalf of Nordic Baltic countries—Australia, Japan, France, Switzerland, the US, Belgium and the UK all praising the special rapporteur’s report and voicing concerns over the state of … human rights in Cambodia, …

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