World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Cambodia: UN expert hails agreements for electoral reform

Cambodia: UN expert hails agreements for electoral reform, but urges respect for freedom of expression and assembly


GENEVA (6 March 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Surya P. Subedi, greets the five-point agreement reached by the two main political parties currently represented in Parliament to launch concrete electoral reforms. He further welcomes the lifting of a ban on demonstration imposed on 5 January 2014:

“I welcome the agreements reached by the Joint Committee composed of members of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Cambodian National Rescue Party to proceed, among other things, on two concrete measures for electoral reform: to review the voter registry and to elaborate a draft law on the financing of political parties. I hope with cautious optimism that progress toward the remaining unresolved issues would soon be made between the two parties.

The matters to be discussed by them are of concern to all Cambodians. Those are issues on which all Cambodians have the fundamental human right to express themselves, whether through demonstrations, marches or other means.

In that respect, I welcome the announcement of the removal of the ban on demonstration that had been in force in the Kingdom since 5 January 2014. I was pleased to learn that, in a speech delivered on 25 February, Prime Minister Hun Sen stated that the ban would be lifted.

Since its imposition, I have urged the Royal Government to remove the ban, which in my view was contrary to Cambodia’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and its own Constitution.

I am concerned that some demonstrations continue to be blocked and persons are still routinely detained for distributing leaflets encouraging workers to strike. I look forward to seeing the ban lift effectively adopted so that free expression and peaceful assembly could once again be exercised, not as a State discretion but as a human right.

The right to mobilise people to demonstrations including through the distribution of leaflets is part and parcel of the right to peaceful assembly, as is the right to disseminate one’s ideas, including through the distribution of leaflets. The practice of arbitrarily detaining persons until they thumbprint a document agreeing to refrain from participating in future demonstrations is a violation of multiple human rights and must cease.

The responsibility to ensure security during demonstrations always lies with the State, so I have been deeply troubled by references possibly made in jest that counter-demonstrations might be organised at the same time and place as the demonstrations by the opposition. Such a scenario would be amusing were it not so dangerous.

The Law on Peaceful Demonstrations obliges the authorities to decide in favour of the group that first submits its notification letter, and to allow other groups to convene at least five hundred metres away.

In advance of the public forum on the minimum wage scheduled by a number of unions and associations for 8 March, I reiterate my call on the Cambodian authorities at all levels to judiciously respect the requirements of the rule of law and, in particular, the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly as guaranteed by the Cambodian Constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

I call upon the Government to strictly adhere to the Covenant, the Constitution, and the Law on Peaceful Demonstrations in respect of all limitations on demonstrations that it seeks to impose.

Finally, I wish to reiterate unequivocally that the principles of human rights are at the core principles of tolerance and mutual respect that holds every human life – for the mere reason of being human life – to be precious.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news