Saturday, August 24, 2013

Joint Statement On the Situation on Freedom of Assembly

                                                                                                                           August 23, 2013

Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee (CHRAC), Committee for free and fair election (COMFREL), and Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and fair election in Cambodia (NICFEC), a Human Rights Group in Cambodia, strongly condemn the hampering made against the people’s participation in a gathering forum for the expression of opinions of Battambang’s residents and parliamentarian, including the commune council members on the process of election in Cambodia which was organized by Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM). 

In the morning of 22 August 2013, there were around 40 city police of Battambang equipped with shields and batons deployed to area where the assembly was held at Angkor village, Sangkat O Cha, Batambong province. There were reports of security forces hampered people from participating in the assembly, including a senior politician from CNRP, Ms. Mu Sochua, who was also present at the assembly. The hamper has led to violent clash between participants and police. However, there has been no injured were reported.

Civil Society organizations noted that acts of the police who made the obstruction against the people were the violation of freedom of assembly that caused to the serious affect against the freedom of opinion and expression of the people which are protected by law. The gathering of people is very important for the promotion of democracy in Cambodia. Therefore, the prevention of people from participation in the forum in the province of Battambang, is the sign of threat against people from being encouraged to take part in other forums as well.

To promote human rights and democracy in Cambodia, civil society organizations propose to the government to 1) give instruction and punishment to those police who made obstruction and disruption towards the gathering of people and 2) proposing to Cambodian government in its capacity as a signatory to human rights treaties to thoroughly respect and uphold its human rights obligations especially to promote the freedom of assembly freedom of opinion and expression and the freedom of association which are the sources for the instillation and the practices of democracy in Cambodia.

For inquiries, please contact:

Mr. Sok Sam Oeun      CHRAC Chairman and Executive Director of CDP     Tel: 012 901 199
Mr. Ny Chakrya           Head of Investigation Unit of ADHOC                        Tel: 011 274 959
Mr. Hang Puthea          Executive Director of NICFEC                                    Tel: 012 949 666
Mr. Run Saray                Executive Director LAC                                            Tel: 012 838 341
Mr. Mak Chamroeun     President of KYA                                                      Tel: 017 788 955
Mr. Yung Kim Eng        President of PDP-Center                                            Tel: 016 828 211
Mr. Kol Pahna             Executive Director of COMFREL                                Tel: 012 942 017

Mr. Suon Bunsak         Executive Secretary of CHRAC                                   Tel: 092 344 357
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