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

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news