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


As violence flares, UN rights expert urges Cambodia lift ban

As violence flares, UN rights expert urges Cambodia to lift protest ban

16 July 2014

The United Nations expert on the situation of human rights in Cambodia urged all sides to immediately exercise utmost calm and restraint, and reiterated his call for an end to the official ban on demonstrations.

“Yesterday, Freedom Park – a symbol of democracy in Phnom Penh – once again became a witness to violence and an antithesis to freedom,” UN Special Rapporteur Surya Subedi told reporters in Geneva today.

According to the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR), what began as a peaceful protests led by members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), quickly escalated into violent clashes yesterday, leaving up to 40 people injured, mostly private security guards. As it stands now, five CNRP Members of Parliament-elect and one CNRP activist have been arrested.

“I call on the Government to guarantee the constitutional right to peaceful assembly for all Cambodians with immediate effect by lifting the existing restrictions on assembly, and to ensure the fair treatment of those arrested in strict accordance with the human rights standards relations to the administration of justice,” Mr. Subedi stressed.

All parties must exercise non-violent means of expression and uphold peace and order in the exercise of freedom of speech and peaceful assembly. Recalling January’s “tragic incidents” that resulted in a demonstration ban in Phnom Penh, he urged the Cambodian Government to facilitate peaceful demonstration and to exercise utmost restraint towards protestors.

“Yesterday’s events have shown that the shrinking democratic space in Cambodia since January is having negative effects on the enjoyment of human rights for all,” Mr. Subedi said.

During his last mission to Cambodia, Mr. Subedi has also expressed concern to the Government regarding the role of district security guards in policing public demonstrations, saying they were private individuals who appeared to operate outside any clear accountability framework.

“Tolerance is crucial for the future of democracy in Cambodia,” he said.
While barricading Freedom Park has no justification in law, he also urged those seeking to exercise their right to peaceful assembly to remain peaceful and respectful of others’ human rights.

Appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Cambodia in March 2009, Mr. Surya P. Subedi serves in his individual capacity and works independently of any government or organisation.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>


Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>


Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news