Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN's Subedi 'worried' by violence against activists

UN's Subedi 'worried' by violence against activists

UN's Subedi 'worried' by violence against activists

120511_03

Surya Subedi, the UN special rapporteur on human rights, speaks to the Post yesterday. Photograph: Joseph Pocs/Phnom Penh Post

Citing several incidents, the United Nations Special Rapporteur in Cambodia today called a recent pattern of violence against human rights activists in the Kingdom a “worrying trend.”

“These individuals assume great risk in undertaking their work and are entitled to protection by the state,” Surya Subedi said at a press conference that bookended his seventh human rights fact-finding trip to the country.

Under his mandate, Subedi conducts research missions and presents an annual report to the United Nations Human Rights Council in September.

The overarching theme of this year’s report will be economic land concessions, both the impact they have on the environment and on the lives of everyday citizens.

During the weeklong trip, Subedi met with communities affected by land concessions in the provinces of Ratanakiri, Stung Treng and Kratie, as well as provincial authorities. He said he would keep trying to contact the companies, developers and agricultural ministry officials involved, whom he was unable to reach.

"I will be writing to them, asking them to tell me their own side of the story, and what are there own concerns," he said. “I monitor the situation of human rights in this country throughout the year and I keep receiving information from people from all walks of life."

Many of the questions he faced, however, concerned violence against activists such as Chut Wutty, who was shot to death in Koh Kong province by a military police officer last month.

“Chut Wutty’s killing is not an isolated case,” he said, adding that he has documented four instances where live ammunition has been used against defenders of human rights.

Subedi attributed the trend to a variety of factors, including land rights.

“One of them is, of course, [an] ongoing issue of impunity,” he said. “And, of course, another one is land is a very attractive commodity, and there are high stakes involved here."

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

  • PM warns party of complacency in leaked audio

    Two leaked audio tapes, purportedly of Prime Minister Hun Sen speaking candidly to senior officials, appear to hint at insecurities within the ruling party over the controversial dissolution of the country’s main opposition, with the premier warning that the party’s “struggle” didn’t

  • Government approves plan to relocate Phnom Penh’s airport

    The government has signed off on a proposal to build a new airport to serve Phnom Penh and has earmarked land in Kandal province for the $1.5 billion project. A new international airport to replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport will be constructed on partially

  • Music festival promises big stage, has even bigger hopes

    With a line-up of local and international artists, and a massive outdoor venue booked on Koh Pich, or Diamond Island, Saturday’s Diamond Moon Festival is aiming to showcase contemporary musical and artistic talents at a scale rarely seen in the Kingdom. [img] But the