ADHOC, LICADHO and CLEC welcome UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia at ADHOC’s Koh Kong Provincial Office

01Koh Kong, 18 September 2015.          In the afternoon of 18 September 2015, ADHOC, LICADHO and CLEC welcomed at ADHOC’s Koh Kong Provincial Office the recently appointed UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Mrs Rhona Smith.

Mrs Rhona Smith’s first visit to Cambodia, since her appointment in March this year, provided a platform for exchange between UN officials, victims of land rights violations, human rights activists, civil society as well as journalists, who were able to voice their concerns in relation to the deteriorating human rights situation in Koh Kong province.

02Whereas victims of land rights violations and environmental activists appealed to the UN officials for intervention in their land disputes in two communities in Koh Kong province and for exercising pressure on provincial authorities for the immediate release of the three arrested youth environmental activists from NGO Mother Nature, ADHOC, LICADHO and CLEC appealed to the UN to engage in dialogues with the provincial authorities – including the judiciary, police and military – in order to demand courts to take immediate actions when receiving human rights complaints, to discontinue the systematic practice of arbitrary arrests and judicial harassment of grassroots level activists or land rights victims and the systematic practice of brutal crackdowns of peaceful protests, as well as to stop arbitrary arrests of human rights monitors during protests, preventing them from documenting and reacting to human rights violations committed during peaceful demonstrations.  On 2 September 2015, six staff members working for ADHOC, LICADHO and CLEC were, together with journalists, removed by the Koh Kong Police from a protest that demanded the release of the three Mother Nature activists, and deprived of their liberty at the Koh Kong Police Commissariat until 6pm that same day. Upon their removal from the protest, about a hundred plain-clothed security forces brutally cracked down the protest, injuring protesters and arresting 11 other persons – including community activists.

03Subsequent to her visit to Cambodia, Mrs Rhona Smith will issue a report that will be taken into account during the 30th UN Human Rights Council session in Geneva, held from 14 September to 2 October 2015, with the human rights situation in Cambodia being on the agenda. ADHOC in consortium with FIDH, LICADHO and other human rights organisations have issued to that effect a joint letter address at Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council, outlining a number of recommendations in response to the concerning and deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia.

For further information, please contact:

-Mr Soeng Karuna, Human Rights Monitor at ADHOC;; 089 666 312

-Ms Almaz Teffera, Technical Advisor for Human Rights and Legal Aid at ADHOC;; 077 55 24 60