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Item 6: Universal Periodic Review (UPR) Plenary on Cambodia

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Oral Statement Delivered by R. Iniyan Ilango on behalf of

Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA)

Thursday, 19 June 2014


Thank you Mr. President. FORUM-ASIA makes this statement in solidarity with its Cambodian members, the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) and the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO). While the government has accepted 171 recommendations, it has failed to respond early to 34 other recommendations pending acceptance, including those relating to the protection of human rights defenders and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly (119.23, 119.24, 119.29). In relation to this, we reiterate our grave concern over the recent violent crackdown by state security forces against public assemblies, including the use of live ammunition on at least three occasions – on 15 September 2013, 12 November 2013, and 3 January 2014 – which resulted in at least six people killed and dozens injured.[1] In addition, Khem Sophath, a 16-year-old boy, has disappeared since the 3 January 2014 protest.[2]  The government has failed to launch credible investigations on any of these violations. Instead, it imposed an illegal ban on all public assemblies in January 2014 and convicted 25 workers and activists arbitrarily arrested at the time of the crackdowns despite a lack of incriminating evidence. We strongly urge the government to accept and fully implement recommendations that call for an impartial investigation into cases of excessive use of force and killings during demonstrations (119.21, 119.28).


We remain concerned about the draft law on NGOs and associations, which the government reported “had been submitted to the Council of Ministers, which had unanimously approved it” (A/HRC/26/16, para 18). The last publicly available draft imposes significant restrictions on freedom of association, including burdensome registration requirements, the absence of administrative appeals in cases of denial of registration, as well as a number of additional restrictions on foreign NGOs.[3] The government’s plan to move forward with draft laws on Cyber Crime and on Trade Unions will also place even tighter constraints on the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association. Similarly three draft laws on the judiciary threaten judicial independence.[4] Echoing calls by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, we urge the government to thoroughly consult with all stakeholders, including civil society, in drafting  legislation and ensure full compliance with international human rights norms and standards,.[5] We strongly urge the government to shelve all draft laws that do not fully comply with international human rights norms and standards.

Mr. President, we urge the government to extend standing invitations to Special Procedures mandate holders (119.13, 119.14, and 119.15), and immediately accept pending requests for official country visits by eight Special Procedures mandate holders. We further call on the government to publicly set out a comprehensive, measurable and time-bound action plan for the implementation of UPR recommendations, in full cooperation and consultation with civil society.

Thank you Mr. President.


[1] FORUM-ASIA, Cambodia: Open letter to Prime Minister Hun Sen – Stop violent crackdown of protests, release all detained protestors, 7 January 2014.

[2]Cambodia: Joint Letter Urging an Immediate Investigation into the Disappearance of Khem Sophath, 23 March 2014.

[3] FNN, CCFC, IDEA, CYN, LICADHO, Draft Law on NGOs and Associations: Comments on the fourth draft, December 2011.

[4] LICADHO, Unconstitutional draft laws on the judiciary should be rejected, 15 June 2014.

[5]Cambodia: Lack of consultation on key laws sets worrying pattern for future legislation, warns UN expert, 27 May 2014.


Click here to download the oral statement (PDF)