Gov’t Defends Draft “State of Emergency” Law; Rights Groups Remain Concerned

Violations of the draft law could result in imprisonment for up to 10 years, and, in some cases, result in fines totaling one billion riels, or around $250,000.

A Cambodian government spokesperson defended the draft “State of Emergency” legislation on Thursday, calling the use of the soon-to-be-passed “historic” law as inevitable.

The newly-proposed law on declaring a national emergency would potentially give Cambodian government sweeping powers and unlimited access to martial power to enforce an emergency, while vastly controlling the citizenry’s online and offline activities.

The draft legislation would allow for the curtailment of civil rights and liberties, such as freedom of movement, expression, association, and assembly – all enshrined in the Cambodian Constitution – and widely criticized by rights groups.

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