Transparency International strongly condemns the murder of Cambodian analyst and well-known government critic Dr. Kem Ley, whose killing comes at a time of heightened political tension in the country.
On Sunday morning, Dr. Kem Ley was repeatedly shot and killed in the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. This outrageous act of violence must be thoroughly, transparently and independently investigated.
Transparency International is concerned at increasing restrictions placed upon civil society organizations and harassment of activists in the country. A year ago Transparency International warned that the new NGO law - Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) – would have a detrimental effect upon the country’s ability to fight corruption, and impedes the freedom of civil society in the country. Ten weeks ago Transparency International called on the Cambodian authorities to stop harassing civil society.
Article 13 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption which Cambodia (UNCAC) ratified in 2007 requires the government to promote active participation of individuals and groups who fight corruption outside the public sector, including civil society, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations.
Transparency International calls for an independent investigation of Dr. Kem Ley’s killing, and for Cambodian authorities to cease the harassment of civil society organisations and to honour its UNCAC commitments.
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