We thank the Special Rapporteur for her report.
We welcome Cambodia’s attendance at this session and timely submission of their human rights reports. We support the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 11th September which called for Cambodia to end intimidation and use of force against civil society actors and peaceful protesters.
Freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly and association are vital for the enjoyment of the full range of human rights. We are concerned about repeated arrests and intimidation of those seeking to be part of a public discourse about the future of Cambodia and the increasing atmosphere of fear amongst those wishing to air their legitimate views on Cambodia’s future. We are concerned that recent arrests of opposition supporters threaten broad-based political participation at upcoming local and national elections in 2022 and 2023.
We urge the Royal Government of Cambodia to embrace dialogue to work with civil society, the political opposition and the people of Cambodia. The United Kingdom stands ready to support genuine attempts to do this.
Whilst we acknowledge small steps taken by the Cambodian Government to broaden engagement with Cambodian communities since the 2018 election, we would welcome the Special Rapporteur’s views on what further steps she believes the Government needs to take to ensure greater, and fairer, political participation in Cambodia.