Cambodia Approves Law on State of Emergency Despite Warnings From Rights Groups

Cambodia’s National Assembly approved legislation on Friday authorizing a state of emergency to contain the spread of the coronavirus despite widespread concerns that it would give unchecked power to Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has rolled back democratic freedoms in the country.

The parliament’s 125 lawmakers, all of whom belong to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), unanimously voted for the “Law on Governing the Country in a State of Emergency,” approving it an hour after it was introduced.

Ahead of the vote, Minister of Justice Koeut Rith told the National Assembly that the law is in compliance with the constitution and would empower the government to manage the country if King Norodom Sihamoni announces a state of emergency because of the outbreak in Cambodia, which as of Friday had caused 119 cases of COVID-19—the disease caused by the virus.

In full: https://www.rfa.org/english/news/cambodia/draft-04102020171306.html

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