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NGO law remains in ‘consultation period’

Civil society groups have the opportunity to express their concerns to relevant ministries regarding the government’s controversial draft law on associations and NGOs, an official said yesterday.

“They have the opportunity to write up their concerns and their grievances to the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday.

Phay Siphan also denied reports that the Council of Ministers had “sent back” the draft law to the Ministry of Interior.

“I wish everyone to understand the path of law,” he said. “The Council of Ministers have no right, have no power, to send anything back to anyone.

“This period we call consultation,” Phay Siphan added. “The Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Foreign Affairs still have the power to change or not to change [the draft law].”

On Friday, 10 international human rights NGOs sent joint letters to 17 UN agencies, demanding that they “make it clear to the RGC [Royal Government of Cambodia] that if the law is adopted in its current form your agency will be compelled to reassess your programs and assistance”.

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