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Interactive Dialogue on Cambodia- Statement by Ireland

Human Rights Council 33rd Session (13-30 September 2016)

Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia

Statement by Ireland

28th September 2016

Mr. President,

Ireland aligns itself with the statement made on behalf of the European Union and adds the following.

Ireland thanks the Special Rapporteur for her report on the situation of human rights in Cambodia.

We note the positive developments in the protection of human rights that have taken place in Cambodia in recent years.

However we agree with the Special Rapporteur that much of this progress has been overshadowed by an increasing number of arrests and detentions of civil society actors and members of Cambodia’s largest opposition party, as well as overt and covert restrictions on civil society actors and human rights defenders.

We echo the concern expressed by the Special Rapporteur that without genuine conciliatory efforts by the CPP and the CNRP to re-establish the culture of dialogue, the situation of human rights in Cambodia could deteriorate further in the months ahead. We support the EU’s call to the Cambodian authorities to allow the opposition to freely carry out its legitimate role, without threats or intimidation,

Ireland is concerned about the shrinking of civil society space which has taken place in Cambodia recently, including the potential impact of the Law on Associations and Non-Governmental Organisations on the capacity of civil society organisations to carry out their work. We urge the Government to safeguard the rights to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to peaceful assembly, and the right to freedom of association, and to take effective measures to protect civil society in Cambodia.

Thank you Mr. President.