Women Targeted at Protests, Rapporteur Says

The U.N.’s special rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association, Maina Kiai, has sent his third thematic report to the U.N. Human Rights Council following trips to various countries, including a three-day visit to Cambodia in February.

The report focuses on groups that Mr. Kiai, a Kenyan lawyer, considers most at risk when they try to exercise the right to assembly and association.

“The Special Rapporteur is deeply concerned about the use of police violence, harassment and judicial intimidation against assemblies held by women in many parts of the world,” the report says.

“In Cambodia, for example, female land-rights activists have been targeted for violence, harassment and arrest on numerous occasions.”

During his visit in February, Mr. Kiai paid a visit to the Boeng Kak community—home to a group of protesters, mostly women, who regularly attend political, judicial and land rights rallies.

An essay written by Mr. Kiai and published in the Journal of Global Ethics on April 29 cites the 2012 imprisonment of 13 women from the community.

“Their sentences were later reduced, but harassment against community members—primarily the women—has continued.”

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