As the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) prepares to hold a peaceful “meditative” assembly on 7 September 2013 to demand an independent investigation into what it alleges are irregularities, including fraud, around the national election of 28 July, the undersigned non-governmental organizations and civil society groups make the following statement:
The Cambodian government, armed forces and police should not discourage or prevent people from enjoying the right to freedom of peaceful assembly, whether through threats, intimidation or the use of unlawful force. Instead, it is the authorities’ obligation to make possible the full exercise of this right, which is guaranteed in Cambodia’s Constitution and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Cambodia is a state party. This positive obligation includes ensuring the safety and security of the organizers and of the participants in assemblies. At the same time, the right to freedom of peaceful assembly does not imply a right to commit human rights abuses against others.