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Special Criminal Court Charges Sanctioned Commander

(Bangui) – The Special Criminal Court (SCC) in the Central African Republic, in an important step for justice, has brought charges against Capt. Eugène Ngaïkosset, known within the country as “The Butcher of Paoua,” Human Rights Watch said. His…
Special Prosecutor Toussaint Muntazini (right) and five other judges of Central African Republic’s Special Criminal Court (SCC) sit at the National Assembly in Bangui, having been sworn in on June 30, 2017.
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Indigenous and Ethnic Groups Coerced, Poorly Compensated

(Bangkok) – A large-scale, Chinese-financed hydroelectric dam in northeastern Cambodia, completed in 2018, has undermined the lives and livelihoods of thousands of Indigenous and ethnic minority people, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
An aerial view of a village partially underwater
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End Persecution of Peaceful Campaigners

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should immediately drop baseless conspiracy and “insulting the king” charges against four environmental activists affiliated with the Mother Nature Cambodia environmental group and release the three in pretrial…
Mother Nature Cambodia activist Sun Ratha waves to her family as she is brought to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on June 19, 2021. (c) 2021 LICADHO
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Adopt Short-term, Long-term Social Protections to Safeguard Rights

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should urgently address the economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which disproportionately harm Cambodia’s low-income population, Human Rights Watch said today. Recent severe lockdowns especially…
A resident of a Red Zone carries bags of rice donated to his house during the coronavirus pandemic.
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One Year Anniversary of Wanchalearm Satsaksit’s Abduction

(New York) – The Cambodian authorities have failed to seriously investigate the enforced disappearance of the prominent Thai activist Wanchalearm Satsaksit in Phnom Penh one year ago, Human Rights Watch said today. During this time, Thailand’s…
Sitanun Satsaksit holds a portrait of her brother, Wanchalearm, who was forcibly disappeared while living in exile in Cambodia on June 4, 2020. 
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Ensure Aid Reaches Residents of Covid-19 ‘Red Zones’

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should immediately grant United Nations agencies and aid groups unrestricted access to residents under strict lockdown in Covid-19 “red zones,” Human Rights Watch said today. The UN Country Team and donor countries…
Military Police patrol in a Red Zone to ensure people abide by the lockdown measures. Phnom Penh remains in lockdown as Cambodia takes drastic measures to reduce the spread of its worst COVID-19 outbreak to date.
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Adopt Inclusive Rights-Based Approach; Seek to End Stigma

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should revise a draft disability law to ensure equal rights for people with disabilities in accordance with international human rights law, Human Rights Watch said today. Cambodia, in 2012, ratified the…
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Use Less-Rights-Intrusive Measures; Adopt Data Protection Law

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government’s “Stop Covid-19” QR Code system raises serious privacy and other human rights concerns, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should use less-rights-intrusive measures to contain and prevent the spread of…
Cambodian school girls walk home at the end of their school day outside Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
News

20-Year Sentences Wrong Approach to Public Health Challenge

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should withdraw a draconian draft law that would allow for 20-year prison sentences and other disproportionate penalties for violations of Covid-19 related measures, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill contains…
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End Mass Criminal Trials of Politicians, Activists

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government should immediately end politically motivated trials of opposition politicians and quash recent convictions, Human Rights Watch said today. The harassment and prosecutions by the government of Prime Minister Hun Sen…
Sam Rainsy talks with media at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, November 9, 2019.
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Reverse Newly Decreed National Internet Gateway

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian government’s new National Internet Gateway will enable the government to increase online surveillance, censorship, and control of the internet that will seriously infringe on rights to free expression and privacy, Human…
A man views Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's Facebook page on his mobile phone in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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Milestone for Justice for Victims of Conflict Since 2012

Update: On February 8, 2021, the International Criminal Court announced that it had postponed the start of the trial to February 16. Human Rights Watch will send an update on February 15 to confirm that date. Correction: This news release has been…
Alfred Yékatom, left, and Patrice-Edouard Ngaïssona, right, taken on Nov. 23, 2018 and Jan. 25, 2019 respectively when they appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands.
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Verdict in Dominic Ongwen Case Set for February 4

(The Hague) – The International Criminal Court’s trial of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader Dominic Ongwen, in which a verdict is due on February 4, 2021, has been a significant step toward justice for atrocities committed by the group in…
Dominic Ongwen, a Ugandan commander in the Lord’s Resistance Army, waits for the judge to arrive as he made his first appearance at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, Monday, Jan. 26, 2015.
News

Important Step Needs Follow-Up with Higher Level Suspects

The surrender by Central African Republic authorities of the first Seleka-rebel suspect to face charges at the International Criminal Court (ICC) is an important step toward justice for serious crimes committed by the two main warring factions in the…
ICC permanent premises
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Muted Response from Donors Emboldens Hun Sen

(Bangkok, January 13, 2021) – The Cambodian government passed draconian laws and arbitrarily detained over 60 activists, journalists, and political opposition members in the past year, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2021. The…
Supporters of Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions, shout slogans in front of Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Saturday, August 1, 2020. 
News

Government, UN Should Protect Civilians; Advance Accountability

(Nairobi) – A new rebel coalition in the Central African Republic has created havoc in the run-up to the country’s legislative and presidential elections, scheduled for December 27, 2020, Human Rights Watch said today. The new coalition is…
Presidential guards stand guard in Bangui, on December 12, 2020, during the opening campaign rally for incumbent president Faustin-Archange Touadéra, seen in the poster, a candidate in the December 2020 elections.
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Coerced Land Sales Linked to Predatory Lending

(Bangkok) – The World Bank Group should investigate alleged coerced land sales and other rights abuses linked to predatory lending and over-indebtedness in the micro-loan sector, Human Rights Watch said today. These longstanding problems have worsened…
Communities reiterate their calls for adequate housing rights and an end to land conflicts on World Habitat Day in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, October 5, 2015.
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Counterterrorism Support Will Link Tokyo to Future Violations

(Tokyo) – The Japanese government should immediately reverse its decision to support Cambodia’s notoriously abusive police force, Human Rights Watch said today. On November 9, 2020, Japan’s Foreign Ministry announced a 300-million-yen grant (US$2.9…
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, right, greets with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, left, before a meeting at the Peace Palace, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Saturday, August 22, 2020. 
News

US, Tech Companies Should Speak Out for Privacy, Free Expression

(San Francisco) – The Cambodian government should immediately scrap the draft cybercrime law, which threatens increased surveillance of internet users, privacy rights, and free speech online, Human Rights Watch said today. The United States, other…
A man views Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen's Facebook page on his mobile phone in downtown Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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Peaceful Protesters Demanding Implementation of Paris Agreements Harassed, Arrested

(Bangkok) – The Cambodian authorities should stop arbitrarily arresting, harassing, and threatening activists who participated in and organized protests on the anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreements on October 23, 1991, Human Rights Watch said…
Activists at protests on October 23, commemorating the 29th anniversary of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords in front of the US embassy in Phnom Penh." (Source: LICADHO).”