Interactive Dialogue with Vitit Muntarbhorn
Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia
Statement by the United States of America
As Delivered by Kaitlin Sandin
Human Rights Council, 51st Session
Thank you, Special Rapporteur, for your presentation.
The United States is deeply troubled by the Cambodian government’s continued pursuit of politically motivated prosecutions against opposition members, activists, journalists, and trade union leaders.
The Cambodian court’s mass trial and sentencing of opposition activists in June, including U.S.-Cambodian national Theary Seng [Teh-Ree Sung], follows an alarming pattern of threats and prosecutions of opposition critics and political leaders in unfair trials.
We are concerned by the slow pace of legal proceedings and resulting impact on opposition leader Kem Sokha’s human rights including fair trial guarantees.
We are further concerned about the criminalization of union activity, the suppression of worker rights, and troubling reports of thousands of human trafficking victims, including in forced online scam operations, who are not receiving adequate protections.
We call on the Cambodian government to respect the rights to freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, release all those unjustly detained, and reopen civic space and political space ahead of 2023 national elections.
Question: Mr. Special Rapporteur, How can the international community advance multiparty democracy and human rights protections in Cambodia?
I thank you.