Cambodia: Joint NGO Statement on the use of force against protesters

September 25, 2013
On 24 September 2013, five NGOs issued a joint statement on Cambodia exactly when there is the interactive dialogue with the UN Rapporteur on that country:

“Gravely concerned at the Cambodian authorities’ repeated use of excessive force to prevent and suppress the people’s exercise of the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression, the undersigned non-governmental organizations call onthe Cambodian and foreign governments to take immediate action to prevent the human rights situation from deteriorating further.”

.…Between 7 and 17 September, a number of non-violent demonstrations took place in Phnom Penh related to the election results. The security forces fired indiscriminately, killing one person and wounding several others. The statement describes in more detail what happened in the streets and condemns the authorities’ unnecessary and excessive use of force.  The recent incidents raise serious questions about the will or capacity of government authorities and the security forces to respect and protect the fundamental rights of those seeking to peacefully express their opinions.

The signing NGOs call on the government to make a public commitment to uphold the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and related rights, specifying that all security forces and officials must facilitate the exercise of these rights. The government should also clearly commit to respecting the rights of human rights defenders and media workers, both of whom have a legitimate role to play in society, and take steps to guarantee their protection. We also call for a prompt, impartial, transparent and thorough investigation into the unlawful use of force. Anyone who is identified as responsible, irrespective of rank or position, should be prosecuted in fair trials.

Amnesty International

Cambodian Center for Human Rights

Cambodian Center for Independent Media

Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights (LICADHO)

Human Rights Watch

Cambodia: Joint Public Statement | Human Rights Watch.

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