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

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Is Mauritius at a tipping point in the fight against corruption?

According to the latest GCB for Africa, very few Mauritians who accessed public services, like health care and education, had to pay a bribe for those services. But given recent scandals, citizens still see certain groups and institutions as corrupt.

Protecting Africa’s wildlife from corruption

When they deliberate over amendments to the global wildlife trade regime, CoP18 must address impunity for illegal timber trafficking in Africa as a matter of high priority.

How the US can help Mongolia get to grips with corruption

A series of bi-lateral meetings and a proposed trade agreement present an opportunity for the US to promote rule of law and an independent judiciary in Mongolia.

Blood diamonds and land corruption in Sierra Leone

A community in Sierra Leone has created powerful short videos documenting their experiences of corruption, forced evictions and a botched resettlement programme at the hands of a multinational diamond mining company.

Countries must be more transparent when investigating transnational corruption

Supervisory and justice systems should be transparent and accountable so that the public can assess their performance.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

In whose interest? Political integrity and corruption in Africa

What accounts for the wide disparity in peoples’ perceptions of the integrity of elected representatives in different countries? In this piece, we will to look at various forms of political corruption, how they manifest in African countries and what can be done to promote political integrity.

Cidadãos opinam sobre a corrupção em África

A décima edição do Barómetro Global de Corrupção (GCB) – África revela que embora a maioria das pessoas na África acreditem que os níveis de corrupção aumentaram no seu país, elas também se sentem otimistas, pois acreditam que os cidadãos podem fazer a diferença no combate à corrupção.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media