Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Still falling short of Paris pact, say NGOs

Still falling short of Paris pact, say NGOs

OHCHR Cambodia representative Wan-Hea Lee speaks yesterday in Phnom Penh during a public forum on the Paris Peace Accords. Supplied
OHCHR Cambodia representative Wan-Hea Lee speaks yesterday in Phnom Penh during a public forum on the Paris Peace Accords. Supplied

Still falling short of Paris pact, say NGOs

In the run-up to this weekend’s 25th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accords, 50 NGOs yesterday said the government has yet to fully comply with tenets of the historic pact, as evidenced by continuing human rights violations, a biased judiciary and questions over free and fair elections.

The agreement, which was endorsed by 19 signatories on October 23, 1991, aimed to usher in peace after years of internal conflict. Central to the deal was the setting up of a constitutional democracy and adherence to human rights standards.

Speaking at yesterday’s forum, head of rights group CCHR Chak Sopheap said the jailing of four Adhoc workers and one election official, as well as the recent killing of political activist Kem Ley, pointed only to regression.

“We have seen the court being used for harassing human rights activists or those who criticise politicians,” she said. “So the human rights situation is only moving backwards.”

Wan-Hea Lee, of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the lack of war or armed conflicts in the country were not the only measure for the success of the PPA.

“Is Cambodia today at peace? If human rights issues are potential causes of conflict, the way to mitigate them should be clear,” she said. The government’s prosecution of citizens who posted on social media and unlawful curbs on peaceful protests only add to the failures in implementing the accords, she added.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said the accords were no longer pertinent now that Cambodia had its own parliament and constitution, which were being used to implement the rule of law.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said