Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia
Statement as Prepared for Delivery by Delaney Felker
Delegation of the United States of America
Human Rights Council – 49th Session
March 29, 2022
Thank you, Madam Vice President.
Mr. Special Rapporteur, the United States thanks you for your work and shares your concerns about democratic backsliding, the criminalization of union activity, and the narrowing of civic space in Cambodia.
We are troubled by politically motivated charges and trials targeting opposition members, activists, journalists, union leaders, and other citizens for exercising constitutionally protected rights. We are further concerned by the slow pace of legal proceedings against human rights leaders and the resulting denial of Kem Sokha’s rights for over four years.The Cambodian court’s conviction of 21 opposition leaders on March 17 is deeply troubling and will have a chilling effect ahead of the June 2022 commune elections.
We are also very concerned by the deportation of activists in Thailand and their subsequent imprisonment. We urge Cambodian authorities to cease targeting political opposition members and rights advocates.
We note that Cambodia committed to ending arbitrary arrests at its 2019 Universal Periodic Review. Its continuing unjust detention and politically motivated prosecution of human rights defenders is inconsistent with this commitment.
Mr. Special Rapporteur: How can the international community work to strengthen democracy in Cambodia?