Today, the ICJ filed a submission to the Human Rights Council’s Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in advance of its review of Cambodia’s human rights record in January/February 2019.
In its submission, the ICJ expressed concern about the following issues:
(1) Misuse of the law under the false pretext of the ‘rule of law’; and
(2) Lack of an independent and impartial judiciary.
The ICJ further called upon the Human Rights Council and the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review to recommend to the Cambodian authorities to:
(i) Repeal or amend domestic laws to bring them in line with Cambodia’s international human rights obligations;
(ii) Repeal or amend domestic laws to ensure the independence of the judiciary and remove excessive powers granted to members of the Executive branch;
(iii) Abolish government-issued regulations or directives that contravene human rights protected under international human rights law;
(iv) Halt efforts to bring into force legislation drafted with the purpose of – or in any event –violating rights protected under international human rights law;
(v) End the prosecution of individuals on so-called lèse-majesté charges under the Cambodian Criminal Code and release individuals detained in connection with them;
(vi) End all use of legislation as a tool of harassment, intimidation or silencing of members of the political opposition, civil society, critical media, lawyers, prosecutors, judges and/or individuals;
(vii) Release all prisoners currently imprisoned or detained on politically motivated charges;
(viii) Uphold the right to fair trial of all persons, including of detained persons;
(ix) Take necessary measures to hold to account perpetrators of harassment, intimidation and violence against members of the political opposition, civil society, critical media, lawyers, prosecutors, judges and/or individuals for the legitimate exercise of their fundamental freedoms;
(x) Take necessary measures, in law and in practice, to guard against legal harassment of lawyers, prosecutors and judges on the basis of the political affiliations or agendas of their clients.
Kingsley Abbott, ICJ Senior Legal Adviser, e: kingsley.abbott(a)icj.org
Full submission in English (PDF) : Cambodia-UPR-Advocacy-Non legal-submission-July-2018-ENGAdvocacyNon-legal submissions