Press releases

CCHR Open Letter Seeks Clarification Regarding Application of the LANGO to CBOs​ and Informal Groups I am writing to request that you issue a statement of clarification regarding the application of the Law on Associations and Non-Governmantal Organizations (“LANGO”) to small community-based organizations (“CBOs”) and informal groups.

Letter to Permanent Representatives of Member and Observer States of the UN Human Rights Council - Addressing the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia and ensuring that the United Nations retains its protection role and monitoring capacity in the country We urge your delegation to address the deteriorating human rights situation in Cambodia by supporting a resolution, at the 30th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council (14 September2 October 2015), that highlights patterns of serious violations and calls on the Cambodian Government to put an end to such violation and to abide by its domestic and international legal obligations. The resolution should also extend the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.

CSOs Call for the Immediate Release of Opposition Senator On Sunday morning, Sam Rainsy Party (“SRP”) Senator Hong Sok Hour was sent to Prey Sar prison after being charged with forging public documents, using forged documents, and incitement to cause chaos in social order under Articles 629, 630, and 495 of the Penal Code, respectively.

ADHOC and LICADHO urge Cambodian Constitutional Council to reject unconstitutional LANGO July 30, 2015 - As the Constitutional Council of Cambodia prepares to review the legality of the Law on Associations and NGOs (LANGO), ADHOC and LICADHO call on the Council to reject the law on the basis of numerous provisions that violate Cambodian citizens’ constitutional rights and freedoms. The law was passed both times by the attending ruling party’s majority inside the National Assembly and the Senate on July 13 and July 24 respectively. The following Articles, although not exhaustive, are of particular concern.

Joint Statement of Civil Society Organizations on the adoption of the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations by the National Assembly Phnom Penh, 16 July 2015: We, the undersigned civil society organizations (CSOs) condemn the National Assembly’s unanimous approval of the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) on 13 July 2015 and urge the Senate to reject the law, or alternatively request modifications of the draft law taking into consideration the concerns raised by all stakeholders.

CCHR requests urgent consideration of amendments to the draft LANGO or rejection Dear Samdach Vibol Sena Pheakdey Say Chhum, I am writing to you regarding the proposed Law on Association and Non-Governmental​ Organizations (“LANGO”) that will be discussed and voted by the Senate later this week. I wish to reiterate my grave concern and urge you to recommend substantive amendments to the law or to vote for its rejection. If approved and then promulgated, this LANGO will lead to serious restrictions of the rights to the freedoms of association, expression and assembly and to the right to participate in public life, in clear contravention of the Cambodian Constitution, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other relevant international instruments.

CSOs Condemn the Conviction of 11 Opposition Party Activists Phnom Penh, 23 July 2015. On Tuesday, 21 July 2015, 11 activists of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party were sentenced to jail time ranging from 7 to 20 years by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court of First Instance, in connection with protests that erupted in July 2014 at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park. We, the undersigned civil society organizations, strongly condemn these convictions as based on trumped-up charges and characterized by a total disrespect for fair trial rights.

Cambodia: immediately quash convictions of opposition activists for insurrection Cambodian authorities must immediately quash the convictions for insurrection handed down to eleven opposition party activists on 21 April, the ICJ said today. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced the National Rescue Party (CNRP) activists to between seven and 20 years in prison following an unfair trial. “These men were grossly over-charged with insurrection in the first place,” said Kingsley Abbott, ICJ International Legal Adviser. “The fact they have now been handed down disproportionately severe sentences following an unfair trial only serves to underscore that a serious miscarriage of justice has taken place in violation of Cambodia’s international obligations,” he added.

LICADHO condemns the conviction and sentencing of 11 CNRP officials and supporters July 21, 2015 - This afternoon, 11 officials and supporters of the Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) were convicted of charges relating to insurrection and sentenced to between seven and 20 years imprisonment. They were taken to CC1 prison immediately following the sentencing. Only one of the nine defense lawyers was present for today’s hearing after the eight other lawyers allegedly boycotted the trial. When judges unexpectedly called for closing arguments, the defendants requested a delay until their lawyers could attend. The judges denied the request and deliberated for just 15 minutes before returning with the verdicts and sentences. As they began to deliberate, police and military police entered the courtroom and the road outside the courtroom was simultaneously blocked.

Statement by the Spokesperson on the Law on Associations and NGOs in Cambodia "On 13 July a Law on Associations and NGOs passed through Parliament in Cambodia. The law touches on sensitive issues requiring in-depth consultation of all stakeholders. Regrettably, a number of important concerns were not sufficiently taken into consideration. The law has the potential to considerably restrict the activity of NGOs. In any country, a vibrant civil society is a prerequisite for the realisation of full social, economic and political potential. Associations and NGOs, both local and international, have contributed greatly to the rebuilding of Cambodian society. Development cooperation between the EU and Cambodia relies to a large degree on NGOs. Full respect of the constitutional provisions concerning pluralism and freedom of association and expression must be upheld."

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