At the UN Human Rights Council [official website] Wednesday, 45 nations condemned [text] the increasingly authoritarian actions taken by the regime in Cambodia.
Last fall, opposition leader Kem Sokha [JURIST report] was jailed and is being held in terrible conditions in an isolated prison. Shortly thereafter, his party was officially dissolved by the supreme court. The party’s previous leader Sam Rainsy [JURIST report] has been in exile since 2015. These actions were taken based on the claim that the party was collaborating with the United States in a plot to overthrow the government. Under the current regime the freedom of press organizations and NGOs has been limited.
With elections scheduled for July of this year, these nations warn against back tracking on progress towards democracy. The condemnation came from New Zealand’s representative to the human rights council and countries in agreement include Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, the US and the United Kingdom. They demand a reversal to these actions that threaten democracy. For their part, the representative from Cambodia brushed aside the rebuke and criticized the council for considering this topic that was not on the agenda.