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How laws are used to stifle dissent in Cambodia

(CCHR/IFEX) - Phnom Penh, 30 October 2012 - Today, 30 October 2012, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights ("CCHR") releases a Briefing Note that sets out the right to freedom of expression as protected under Cambodian law, provides an overview of all applicable legal provisions that relate to defamation or otherwise impact upon the right to freedom of expression in Cambodia, and discusses several recent case examples in which these provisions have been used as a tool to silence critics of the Royal Government of Cambodia and its policies. The Briefing Note analyzes how the Penal Code 2009, the UNTAC Code and the Press Law 1995 are compatible with each other, and examines relevant provisions in some detail. The Briefing Note is intended as a legal guide for the benefit of all human rights defenders as well as, more widely, an exercise in raising awareness as to how the right to freedom of expression is protected in theory and yet abused in practice in contemporary Cambodia.

CCHR Freedom of Expression Project Co-ordinator Sorn Ramana comments:

"Given the disturbing turn for the worse that the situation of freedom of expression in Cambodia has taken recently, it is important that Cambodians - and human rights defenders in particular - know what rights they have by law and how the authorities may use - and misuse - the law against them.

The various case examples serve as a harsh reminder of what tends to happen when people speak out. It is clear from this analysis that Cambodia is increasingly being subjected to 'rule by law' rather than the 'rule of law' which Cambodia so desperately needs to solve its long-standing problems."

Download the Briefing note:
Cambodia_CCHR_Laws_relating_to_free_expression.pdf (321 KB)

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