Cambodia placed on watchlist of ‘repressive’ states: CIVICUS

Cambodia’s longtime ruler Hun Sen has ‘overseen a systematic assault on fundamental freedoms’, report states.

Cambodia has experienced a worrying decline in basic freedoms as authorities use the legal system to restrict and criminalise human rights work, youth activism, trade unions, independent journalism, opposition politicians and other voices critical of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, a leading rights group has warned.

To further strengthen his almost 40-year iron grip on power, Hun Sen recently used the COVID-19 pandemic to implement a state of emergency law that further restricted the fundamental freedoms of Cambodian citizens, said CIVICUS – a global alliance of civil society organisations tracking fundamental freedoms worldwide.

“The misuse of the criminal justice system to harass and prosecute human rights defenders, unionists and journalists and the shutting down of media outlets highlights the democratic regression in Cambodia,” CIVICUS said in a Cambodia country report released on Thursday.

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