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Freedom of assembly "on hold" in Cambodia, says human rights group

A protester is blocked by police officers during a 31 March 2014 demonstration in Phnom Penh that breached the ban on public gatherings
A protester is blocked by police officers during a 31 March 2014 demonstration in Phnom Penh that breached the ban on public gatherings

REUTERS/Samrang Pring

On 8 April 2014, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights ("CCHR") released a Briefing Note focusing on freedom of assembly in the Kingdom of Cambodia ("Cambodia"), and the current unlawful ban on all assemblies, announced by the Ministry of Interior on 4 January 2014. Despite recent suggestions that the Royal Government of Cambodia ("RGC") may be lifting the ban reported in the media, the ban remains in place. CCHR has documented numerous cases whereby the right to freedom of assembly has been restricted by the RGC since the ban was initially announced. In light of these developments, this Briefing Note provides an overview and analysis of the current situation of freedom of assembly in Cambodia.

In addition, all the cases documented have also been reported in an online Chronology on the award winning Cambodian Human Rights Portal www.sithi.org.

The Briefing Note makes five key recommendations to the RGC to (1) immediately and formally repeal the current ban of all assemblies, marches and demonstrations in Cambodia; (2) halt the unlawful temporary detention of peaceful protesters and immediately release those that remain in detention for participating in peaceful protests; (3) put an end to the practice of forcing human rights defenders and citizens exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression and assembly from signing statements that restrict their rights in order to be released or avoid charges; (4) ensure security personnel have received appropriate training and put an end to the hiring of private security forces; and (5) take steps to ensure that such restrictions on the freedom of peaceful assembly are prohibited in the future.




Download CCHR's Briefing Note.
freedom_of_assembly_on_hold_cchr.pdf (600 KB)

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