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

Strengthening rule of law along the cocaine route

Transparency International has teamed up with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and INTERPOL, to implement the CRIMJUST Project, funded by the European Union. The project aims to strengthen criminal investigation and criminal justice cooperation along the cocaine route in Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa.

Political asylum for ex-presidents: an easy way to impunity?

This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration. Yet while we celebrate the universality of human rights, at times powerful individuals try to abuse the principles that underpin the international human rights framework. Two recent cases of two ex-presidents who have applied for political asylum to evade justice, and two countries who handled these requests in very different ways, highlight some of these abuses.

International Anti-Corruption Day 2018: The power of people’s pressure

Across the world, Transparency International chapters work hard to help the public become involved and engaged in the fight against corruption.

La Justicia española debe investigar el lavado de imagen de Azerbaiyán en Europa

Tres políticos españoles —Pedro Agramunt, Agustín Conde Bajén y Jordi Xuclá— se encuentran entre los delegados ante la Asamblea Parlamentaria del Consejo de Europa (APCE) sobre los que pesan sospechas de haberse beneficiado con la maniobra del “Laundromat”.

Clean up Spain – Justice for Azerbaijan’s reputation laundering in Europe

In Azerbaijan, critical voices are routinely suppressed. Meanwhile in Europe, politicians suspected of helping whitewash Azerbaijan’s record on human rights enjoy impunity. Join our campaign to urge authorities in Spain to investigate.

Everything you need to know about the 18th International Anti-Corruption Conference (#18IACC)

The #18IACC will take place from 22-24 October in Copenhagen, Denmark under the theme Together for Development, Peace and Security: Now is the Time to Act. Get the latest info and updates here!

Risky business: Europe’s golden visa programmes

Are EU Member States accepting too much risk in their investor migration schemes?

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media