Civil Society Groups Mark Human Rights Day, Decry Increase in Violations

Trade unions, rights groups and other NGOs gathered at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on Tuesday to mark International Human Rights Day, the last time the day will be a national holiday.

Around 21 civil society groups and around 2,000 participants attended the event on the outskirts of the city, at the new Freedom Park in Russey Keo district. Apart from reiterating concerns over long-standing rights violations, the groups made eight demands of the government, including independence of state institutions from political interference and a strengthening of freedom of expression in Cambodia.

Chan Ramy, executive director of the Youth Resource Development Program, said freedoms protecting expression had taken the biggest hit and that the lack of a political opposition made it hard to push for democratic reforms.

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