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Delegates to ASEAN’s rights body draw fire

A COALITION of more than 70 regional NGOs has condemned eight ASEAN members, including Cambodia, for failing to respond to its demand for a consultative meeting about the newly created ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission for Human Rights (AICHR).

According to a statement issued Monday, the Solidarity for Asian Peoples Advocacy Taskforce on ASEAN Human Rights stated that only the AICHR delegates from Thailand and Indonesia had responded to its request to hold a civil society consultation on the AICHR’s rules of procedure as it met in Jakarta Monday.

“As representative[s] of a human rights institution, the refusal to meet with civil society is in itself a contradiction of the spirit and principles of human rights,” Yap Swee Seng, the co-convenor of the task force, said in the statement.

The AICHR was established on October 23 last year, during the 15th ASEAN summit held in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Om Yen Tieng, the chairman of the government-run Cambodian Human Rights Committee, could not be reached for comment Monday.

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