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Cambodia - Universal Periodic Review - Civil and Political Rights - October 2023

Date: October 11, 2023
Country: Cambodia
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Expression and Opinion
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
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Since Cambodia's third-cycle review by the Universal Periodic Review in 2019, the country's human rights situation has worsened significantly. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, his son Prime Minister Hun Manet, and the Cambodian People's Party (CPP), the government continues infringe on Cambodians' human rights and deny perceived opponents their rights to freedom of expression, opinion, association and assembly. The July 2018 elections included no organized opposition to challenge the CPP after a November 2017 Supreme Court decision dissolved the leading political opposition party, the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP). The July 2023 national election, where the CPP won 120 of 125 seats, has been criticized as not being free and fair. The government has also cracked down on the functions of human rights groups and independent media organizations, passing restrictive laws and issuing fabricated charges. In addition, detention conditions in the country remain dangerous as overcrowding, infrastructure problems, and lengthy pretrial detention are commonplace.

This report examines Cambodia's violations of civil and political rights, including 1) implementation of recommendations to bring the constitutional and legislative framework into compliance with international norms; 2) protect human rights defenders and other civil society members; 3) freedom of opinion, expression, and association; and 4) right to participation in public affairs and right to vote.

The Advocates has received direct information about the human rights violations detailed in this stakeholder report from Cambodian civil society organizations, human rights defenders, and diaspora members in the United States. Credible information from secondary sources supplements their first-hand accounts. This stakeholder report addresses Cambodia's failure to comply with its international human rights obligations and makes recommendations to address and improve the human rights situation in Cambodia.