Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - UN rapporteur visits Kingdom

UN rapporteur visits Kingdom

UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai emerges from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a meeting in 2014.
UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai emerges from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following a meeting in 2014. Hong Menea

UN rapporteur visits Kingdom

A top United Nations human rights official who has slammed Cambodian government legislation in the past was in the Kingdom for an “unofficial” visit on Saturday and Sunday, during which he discussed key rights issues with various civil society groups.

Maina Kiai, the UN special rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association, met with members of Cambodian youth organisations and representatives of the evictees from Boeung Kak Lake, among others, during his two-day visit, according to a statement from rights group Adhoc.

“Mr Kiai repeatedly emphasised that the right to freedom of assembly and association are the pillars to a full and true enjoyment of every individual’s human rights,” the statement reads.

In July, Kiai criticised Cambodia’s law on non-governmental organisations following its passage for allowing authorities to withdraw recognition of politically unfavourable associations, calling it a “clear violation of international law”.

During his latest visit, Kiai made no official statements due to the “academic” nature of his passage, said Cambodian Center for Human Rights executive director Chak Sopheap, who met with him.

Sopheap said Kiai was following recent political events in Cambodia “very closely”, after tensions renewed following the beating of two opposition lawmakers on October 26.

“He knows about all this, but one thing he encourages us to do is to keep exercising our rights, because it is a fundamental thing,” she said.

Kiai did not immediately respond for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Reuters: US Embassy fired 32 staff members for sharing pornography

    The United States Embassy in Phnom Penh has fired 32 non-diplomatic staff members who were allegedly caught exchanging pornographic images and video, including of minors, according to the news agency Reuters. Four sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the content was shared in

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Who’s Who: Sok Muygech is pushing the boundaries of sustainable architecture

    It’s just after two in the afternoon and Sok Muygech, director of BMK Architects, is discussing the details of a new interior design project with her six employees at the company’s office in BKK1. The small office that sits above an optician’s