Wed the 3rd Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 19, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Download in Khmer: rhona-smith-statement-khmer
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Phnom Penh – “The Cambodia of 2016 is very different from the Cambodia of 1991,” says Special Rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, Prof. Rhona Smith, this evening. “The progress and development is well worth celebrating, however imperfect aspects of that progress may be. The time for the Government to blame the troubles of the last century for the situation today is surely over.” Prof. Smith made these remarks in a statement at her end-of-mission press conference, held at the OHCHR office in Phnom Penh. Covering a wide range of issues that were brought up in her various field trips and meetings, the statement included recommendations to the Government on vulnerable groups, land rights, rule of law and justice, prison reform, electoral preparations, and the general human rights situation in the country.
The Special Rapporteur reiterated her “pledge [to the Government] to assist by advising, monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation in Cambodia.”
It’s bad enough for Vietnam to use vague laws to imprison peaceful critics and activists. But it’s even more outrageous to lock up someone for five years just because the government arbitrarily decides that they are preparing to criticize the government. Brad Adams, HRW Asia Director
Assembly Should Overhaul Laws Recently Used to Silence Blogger ‘Mother Mushroom’
Tue the 2nd Waning Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 18, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
The National Assembly in Hanoi, Vietnam on July 20, 2016. Reuters/Kham
New York – Vietnam’s National Assembly should reform the criminal law to respect basic rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion, Human Rights Watch said today. The National Assembly is considering revisions to the penal code during its session scheduled from October 20 to November 22, 2016. The laws were used in October’s arrest of prominent blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, known as “Mother Mushroom.”
“Many articles related to national security in Vietnam’s laws are vaguely defined and often used arbitrarily to punish critics, activists, and bloggers,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “The National Assembly should take this opportunity to strip provisions that have created so many political prisoners and bring Vietnam’s laws in line with international standards.” (more…)
Wed the 11th Waxing Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 12, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Scores of Vietnamese dissidents are in jail in the one-party state, where private media is banned and critics are regularly subject to arbitrary arrest and detention
AFP, October 12, 2016 — Several Western governments have called for the release of a Vietnamese activist jailed this week for “anti-state propaganda”, urging greater freedoms in the authoritarian nation criticised for silencing critics.
Rights activist and blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, more commonly known as Me Nam which means “Mother Mushroom”, was detained Monday as she visited a fellow dissident in jail in southern Nha Trang city.
Quynh, whose critical Facebook posts have included articles about civilians reportedly dying in police custody, was accused of distorting truth and history, defaming the Communist Party and provoking anti-
GENEVA / PHNOM PENH (7 October 2016) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, will carry out an official visit to the country from 10 to 20 October 2016 to examine the general political situation and various aspects of discrimination.
Thu the 5th Waxing Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 6, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
The Hon. Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan President of National Assembly of Vietnam Doc Lap Street, Quan Thanh Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Dear National Assembly President Nguyen Kim Ngân,
We, the undersigned civil society organizations, are writing to express our concerns about the proposed Law on Belief and Religion in Vietnam. The draft law, which has been revised several times and drawn strong criticism from many religious communities, is expected to be voted into law by the National Assembly at its session in October- November 2016.
The most recent draft was discussed at a high-level meeting of the Communist Party’s Fatherland Front on 17 August, and circulated to certain religious communities for comment. An examination of the draft law that was published on the National Assembly website shows that the 9-chapter draft law contains some improvements, but also continues to place unacceptable restrictions on the right to freedom of religion or belief and other human rights. Specifically, basic guarantees of the right to freedom of religion or belief continue to be undermined by onerous registration requirements and excessive state interference in religious organizations’ internal affairs. Indeed, this and the previous versions of the law inherit from previous rules and regulations this emphasis on government control and management of religious life which is contrary to the spirit and principle of the right to freedom of religion or belief.
Five of the six largest Asean economies see growing sales to U.S.
Thu the 5th Waxing Moon of Assayuja B.E.2560, October 6, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Courtesy Bloomberg, by David Roman, October 5, 2016
After years of looking to China as a source of growth, Southeast Asian countries are turning their attention back to the world’s largest economy on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. Exports to the U.S. from all but one of the six largest economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations increased in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the most recent data from the International Monetary Fund. Shipments to China declined in four of the countries in the same period.
After years of looking to China as a source of growth, Southeast Asian countries are turning their attention back to the world’s largest economy on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
Exports to the U.S. from all but one of the six largest economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations increased in the first quarter from a year earlier, according to the most recent data from the International Monetary Fund. Shipments to China declined in four of the countries in the same period. (more…)
FILE – Jordan’s Prince Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, pauses during a news conference at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, Oct. 16, 2014.
UN Official Calls for Security Council Veto Limit to Halt Syrian Bloodbath
Tue the 12th Waning Moon of Poṭṭhapāda B.E.2560, September 28, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Geneva – The United Nations’ top human rights official has called for limits on the use of the veto power by the U.N. Security Council’s five permanent members to halt the tragedy unfolding in east Aleppo in northern Syria.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein has called the situation nothing short of calamitous and likened the horrors being inflicted on the citizens of Aleppo to those that occurred in cities such as Warsaw, Stalingrad and Dresden in World War II. (more…)
Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia
Wed the 12th Waning Moon of Poṭṭhapāda B.E.2560, September 28, A.D.2016 Year of the Monkey
Over the past year, Prime Minister Hun Sen and his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) have significantly escalated their targeting of Cambodia’s political opposition, human rights defenders, social activists, and public intellectuals. They appear intent on eliminating all opposition and independent voices and undoing most of what has been accomplished in Cambodia since the Paris Peace Agreements were signed 25 years ago.
Hun Sen and other government officials rely on the CPP-controlled judiciary to imprison peaceful critics, while the security forces threaten, intimidate and assault those deemed to be government opponents. These abuses appear aimed at ensuring a CPP victory in local and national elections scheduled for 2017 and 2018, thereby safeguarding CPP power and the economic interests of its leadership.
The Paris Agreements committed Cambodia “to ensure respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms” in the country and “to support the right of all Cambodian citizens to undertake activities that would promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.” They committed the 18 other signatories – including all P-5 members, Japan, Australia, and most members of ASEAN — “to promote and encourage respect for and observance of human rights… to prevent the recurrence of human rights abuses.”
We call upon Cambodia, the Human Rights Council, the Paris signatories, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia to take urgent action to fulfill these commitments. All politically motivated criminal charges and convictions should be dropped or overturned, including those against opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, other members of parliament, staff of the internationally respected human rights organization ADHOC, and the Boeung Kak land rights activists. The recent assassination of political commentator Kem Ley – yet another in a long line of political killings – is yet another reminder of how fragile the situation is and the need for concerted international efforts to avoid Cambodia reverting to a one-party state where bullets are more important than ballots.
In her report to this Session, the Special Rapporteur recommends that the government review outstanding recommendations by the Special Rapporteur, treaty bodies and states. We support this and would ask the Special Rapporteur: what is your assessment of the status of implementation of your recommendations? We would also encourage the Special Rapporteur to address, in her next report, the implementation of recommendations by Cambodia of various UN bodies and to identify benchmarks for progress.