Transparency International calls on the Cambodian authorities to stop harassing civil society

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International, the global anti-corruption organisation, calls on the authorities in Cambodia to respect the space for civil society and end harassment and intimidation of activists.

The current situation was trigged when activists from a well-known human rights organisation (ADHOC) and a Deputy Secretary General of the National Election Committee (NEC) were summoned for questioning and later detained by the Anti-Corruption Unit. They were then transferred to the court and charged for allegedly bribing a witness in a highly politicised case.

A Deputy Secretary General of the NEC and one officer from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights were also charged as accomplices in bribing the witness.

“TI is seriously concerned about increasing allegations of political interference and intimidation of human rights and anti-corruption activists. The Anti-Corruption Unit should not be used in such a way that intimidates and silences the voice of civil society activists. This sends the wrong message, not only to the people of Cambodia but to the rest of the world. Civil society needs to be protected so that it can support citizens,” said Elena Panfilova, Vice Chair of Transparency International.

If convicted the activists could face between 5 - 10 years prison sentences. A decision is expected this week.

On 28 April 27 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) signed a joint statement calling on the authorities to cease harassment of human rights defenders, and on 2 May 59 NGOs signed a joint statement condemning the charges against human right defenders.

This latest crackdown on civil society comes in the wake of the introduction of a restrictive NGO law - Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organizations (LANGO) – that could impede the freedom of civil society in the country.

With local elections in Cambodia scheduled for next year and national elections in 2018, it is vital that civil society is allowed to act freely and without fear of reprisal. Cambodian authorities must take immediate action to end harassment and protect civil society space.


For any press enquiries please contact

Chris Sanders
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Is Hungary’s assault on the rule of law fuelling corruption?

In June 2018, Hungary’s parliament passed a series of laws that criminalise any individual or group that offers help to an illegal immigrant. The laws continued worrying trends in the public arena that began with the rise to power of the Fidesz party in 2010. What are these trends, and what do they mean for the fight against corruption and the rule of law in Hungary?

Will the G20 deliver on anti-corruption in 2018?

This week, activists from civil society organisations all over the world gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the sixth annual Civil 20 (C20) summit.

Returning Nigerians’ stolen millions

The stakes are high in the planned distribution of $322 million in stolen Nigerian public money.

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

Transparency International has been at the Open Government Partnership's global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Comment gagner la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique

Aujourd’hui est la Journée africaine de lutte contre la corruption – une occasion opportunité pour reconnaitre le progrès dans la lutte contre la corruption en Afrique et le travail significatif qui reste encore à accomplir.

How to win the fight against corruption in Africa

African Anti-Corruption Day is an important opportunity to recognise both the progress made in the fight against corruption in Africa and the significant work still left to do.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media