Political rights

UN body examines civil and political rights situation amid escalating government crackdown

Paris. The Cambodian government has stepped up its crackdown on key civil and political rights through draconian laws and the persecution of political opponents, human rights defenders, strikers and peaceful critics, the International Human Rights Federation said today. of Human Rights (FIDH) prior to review by a United Nations (UN) human rights body.

The situation of civil and political rights in Cambodia will be considered by the United Nations Human Rights Committee (CCPR) from March 9-11, 2022 in Geneva, Switzerland. The CCPR monitors states parties’ compliance with their legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Cambodia is a state party to the ICCPR.

“The downward spiral of human rights in Cambodia shows that the government has totally failed in its obligations under international law. The UN Human Rights Committee has a timely and crucial opportunity to issue authoritative recommendations for improving the situation of civil and political rights ahead of next year’s general elections.

Adilur Rahman Khan, Secretary General of FIDH

As part of the CCPR review, FIDH submitted a shadow report that documents the numerous and serious violations of key civil and political rights committed by the Cambodian authorities since the previous review by the CCPR in March 2015.

Key concerns raised in the shadow report include:

1) violent attacks, arbitrary arrests and politically motivated prosecutions of political opponents ahead of the 2022 local elections and the 2023 general elections;

2) repressive laws that undermine the right to political participation and the right to freedom of expression;

3) legislation to establish a national internet gateway in 2022, which grants the government broad surveillance powers and will reduce civic space online;

4) the continued repression of freedom of expression of trade unions, activists, independent media and government critics;

5) specious charges and excessive use of force against strikers, communities protesting land grabbing and other peaceful protesters;

6) dispossession of indigenous peoples’ lands through unethical lending practices in the microfinance sector; and

7) high rates of prolonged pre-trial detention of men, women and children in overcrowded prisons, which subjects them to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The report also highlights how the Cambodian government has used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to expand its powers and unjustifiably restrict the rights to privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of peaceful assembly.

Press contacts

Ms. Eva Canan (Paris): +33648059157 / [email protected]