Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government notes 25 UN UPR rights recommendations as political

Government notes 25 UN UPR rights recommendations as political

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Chin Malin, spokesperson of Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC). Hong Menea

Government notes 25 UN UPR rights recommendations as political

The government on Tuesday said it had “noted” 25 recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR), saying they were part of a political agenda and linked to the dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP).

It accepted the other 173 recommendations that were raised.

Cambodian Human Rights Committee (CHRC) spokesperson Chin Malin said on Wednesday that the 25 noted recommendations had raised case-by-case issues regarding Cambodian politics, including the dissolution of the former CNRP.

Also raised was the treason charge brought against its president Kem Sokha, the Supreme Court verdict that banned 118 members of the party from politics after its disbanding and a perceived restriction of political rights.

“We cannot accept these recommendations because what happened in connection to the CNRP, its leaders and members were legal actions taken in a democratic society."

“We cannot accept them and we cannot implement them because they go against Cambodia’s laws and violate Supreme Court rulings. Some recommendations told us to release the opposition leader, reinstate the CNRP and allow its banned members to return to politics,” he said.

Chin Malin said only a few countries had raised the 25 recommendations, such as the US and allies like the UK. He said around 20 recommendations concerned the CNRP and the rest political law.

CHRC issued a press release on Tuesday saying it had noted 25 recommendations out of the 198 raised by 73 countries at the UPR session held in Geneva on January 30. CHRC said its decision came after consultations with relevant government institutions and stakeholders.

It said Cambodia accepted 173 recommendations as they were in line with the will, policies and reforms of the government of Cambodia in all sectors in its mission to defend the nation and promote the human rights and freedom of its citizens.

“The 25 recommendations are noted because they do not reflect the reality of human rights respect and freedom in Cambodia. Also, they do not reflect the efforts made by the government."

“These recommendations particularly cannot be implemented because they are against the law, constitution and legal procedures of Cambodia. [These recommendations] were raised under the umbrella of a political agenda, rather than on technical aspects [concerning the] principles of freedom and human rights enforcement in a democratic society,” it said.

CHRC said it had already sent a response to the UN regarding the decision in order that it would be approved at the 41st regular session of the Human Rights Council in July.

It said it would organise meetings with relevant institutions and NGOs to find the mechanisms to implement the 173 accepted recommendations.

Chak Sopheap, the executive director of the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR), said the exact content of the noted recommendations was unknown to her at this stage.

CCHR nevertheless encouraged the government to seriously consider those 25 recommendations. She said the government could still take steps to implement some of them in order to improve the human rights situation in the country.

“We encourage the Royal Government of Cambodia to ensure the effective implementation of those recommendations in the coming years in order to ensure the full protection of all human rights throughout Cambodia."

“At this stage of the UPR process, civil society can also participate by consulting and cooperating with stakeholders in order to ensure the implementation of recommendations, as well as by monitoring its implementation,” she said.

Kem Sokha, who co-founded the CNRP, was arrested in September 2017 and charged with conspiring with a foreign power to oust the government.

His arrest led to the Supreme Court dissolution of the CNRP more than two months later and the banning of 118 high-ranking party officials from politics for five years.

Released on bail in September last year, after more than a year in detention at Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province, Sokha has since remained at his home under court supervision.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and