Interactive Dialogue with Vitit Muntarbhorn
Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia
Human Rights Council – 48th Session
Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Read by Meryn Schneiderhan
Thank you, Mr. Muntarbhorn, for your detailed reporting and valuable recommendations for advancing democracy and protecting human rights in Cambodia.
The United States shares your concerns about democratic backsliding and the narrowing of civic space in Cambodia. We are particularly troubled by the ongoing prosecution of Kem Sokha and the mass trials and convictions of other members from the main political opposition party; and continued restrictions on political participation in advance of the 2022 national commune elections.
We urge Cambodian authorities to cease targeting political opposition leaders. Cambodia should also amend the political parties law and institute other election reforms to provide all political parties an equal opportunity to participate in political life, consistent with the Paris Peace Agreements and the Constitution.
Additionally, the escalation in prosecutions of human rights defenders is completely unacceptable and contravenes Cambodia’s stated commitment to end harassment and arbitrary arrests at its 2019 Universal Periodic Review.
Question: How can we best support multiparty democracy in Cambodia?