Dozens of global civil society organisations have backed an International Criminal Court complaint against Cambodia’s “ruling elite” for alleged crimes against humanity committed via land grabbing.
The organisations, from Europe, Latin America, Asia and the US, on Friday urged the ICC prosecutor in a statement to initiate a preliminary examination “with a view to opening a full investigation”.
“The International Criminal Court accepting the case would have a hugely positive impact, not just in Cambodia, but globally,” they wrote.
“It would send a powerful message that when land grabbing is widespread or systematic, and reaches a certain level of gravity, international criminal law becomes engaged.”
The ICC complaint was filed on October 7 by UK lawyer Richard Rogers. While Rogers was initially “engaged” by the opposition party to investigate, he has filed the complaint on behalf of representative victims. The government, however, maintains the case is clearly political.