The Run-Up to Cambodia's 2003 National Assembly Election
Political Expression and Freedom of Assembly under Assault

A Human Rights Watch Briefing Paper, June 12, 2003


As Cambodians prepare to go to the polls to elect a third legislature in ten years, they will do so with minimal information about their political choices and with concerns about their safety and livelihood if the ruling party is not returned to office. At a time when political speech and association should be encouraged, it is being increasingly restricted. Those who decide to protest the conduct of the election must face the threat of violent reprisals from state security forces. And little has been done to break the CPP's dominance of the electoral apparatus. In order for this election to be seen as genuine and not just periodic, the Cambodian government must give the Cambodian people reason to believe that their interests will be represented and their complaints will be answered.