Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Penal code misunderstood: UN

Penal code misunderstood: UN

Penal code misunderstood: UN

Three years after the passage of the Penal Code, judges still “misinterpret” many key articles, including defamation, disinformation and public insult, the UN and justice officials said yesterday.

Speaking at a two-day workshop, officials from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and Ministry of Justice offered an outline of the most frequently misapplied articles to provincial judges, prosecutors and police.  

“Cases of misinterpretation or misapplication of the Penal Code can lead to people being unfairly punished or unfairly left unpunished, and to possible violations of human rights,” said OHCHR representative James Heenan.

Passed in 2009, the Penal Code has at times been criticised by rights groups, who point to its defamation and incitement articles as thinly veiled attempts to criminalise freedom of expression.

But those attending the workshop remained diplomatic, insisting a lack of understanding was the sole explanation for convictions that could be considered human-rights violations.

“The difficulty for compliance is because this new code has more than 200 articles,” Meas Chan Pisith, deputy prosecutor of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, explained.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chhay Channyda at [email protected]

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all