JOINT STATEMENT: Civil Society Denounces Adoption of Flawed ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

Disregarding the deep concerns expressed by senior United Nations officials, human rights experts and hundreds of civil society and grassroots organisations at the national, regional and international levels, ASEAN leaders nonetheless adopted yesterday an “ASEAN Human Rights Declaration” that undermines, rather than affirms, international human rights law and standards. The document is a declaration of government powers disguised as a declaration of human rights.

ADHOC Endorses the Joint Statement of the 2nd ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ ASEAN People Forum (ACSC/APF) 2012 Phnom Penh, 16 November 2012

The ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN Peoples’ Forum (ACSC/APF) 2012 took place on the 14-16 November 2012. The event, attended by over 500 delegates, included not only participants from ASEAN member states but also representatives invited from African Union, European Union and a delegation from the USA.

A key discussion that took place over the course of the event was ASEAN member states’ failure to produce an ASEAN Human Rights Declaration that matches or even exceeds existing international human rights standards. As such, we the delegates of the ACSC/APF, refuse to endorse the Declaration and instead, will continue to use standards set in international human rights instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to measure progress in the region.

STATEMENT: A Cambodia that Tolerates Dissent Sends the Right Message to President Obama

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The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) expresses its condemnation at the arrest today of eight community activists in Thmar Kaul Village, Po Sen Chey District, Phnom Penh. The community activists are guilty of nothing more than exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression, and coming in the wake of intimidation and harassment of civil society groups attempting to organize and hold meetings ahead of the upcoming ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh, the arrests and detention of these community activists is yet another example of the Cambodian authorities’ disregard for human rights. The Cambodian authorities have expressed a desire to show the “good” face of Cambodia to the world, however, their intolerance of dissent and willingness to use the police to stifle freedom of expression instead demonstrates little more than the shrinking democratic space in the country.

STATEMENT: ADHOC Condemns the Disruption of Regional Civil Society Events and the Intimidation of Organizers and Participants

The Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association (ADHOC) strongly condemns the repeated disruption of civil society meetings taking place as part of the ASEAN Peoples’ Forum and ASEAN Grassroots People’s Assembly 2012. The intimidation of organizers and participants at the meetings is an unacceptable affront to basic freedoms of expression and assembly and sends a powerful message to the world that the Cambodian government is not committed to the creation of an ASEAN that respects fundamental rights and freedoms.

ADHOC Expresses its Sincere Condolences at the Death of the Former King of Cambodia

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Villagers from Kantuot Commune, Preah Vihear Province, Promised Action after Delivering Petition to Prime Minister

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On 09 October 2012 villagers from Kantuot Commune, Choam Ksan District, Preah Vihear Province handed a petition to cabinet official Nov Ra, alleging repeated land grabs, violence and intimidation at a Social Land Concession (SLC) granted to one star General, Pen Lim in 2007. On 10 October 2012, Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly called for Pen Lim’s arrest in relation to the SLC at a land title ceremony in Kampot province. The villagers also came to protest other land grabs in the area, claiming the involvement of other officials from the provincial government and the Ministry of Land.

Remembering Dey Krahorm: Three Years after their Forced Eviction, Former Residents Petition the National Assembly to Make Cambodia an Eviction and Land-Grab Free Zone

On 08th October 2012, past residents of the Dey Krahorm community in central Phnom Penh gathered at the site of their former homes to petition the National Assembly to put an end to pervasive land-grabbing and forced evictions across Cambodia. The residents of Dey Krahorm were forcibly evicted and the community razed on 29 January 2009, when armed police, military police and demolition workers came at night to tear down houses and move people off their land. In many cases residents did not have time to move their possessions outside of their houses before they were pulled down by the demolition teams.