Opposition CNRP meeting cancelled due to ruling party intimidation

Created Date : 22 / Jan / 2014
Nature of Violation :
Rights Involved : Freedom of Expression


A meeting of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party (“CNRP”) in Troeuy Sla commune in Kandal province was cancelled yesterday – 21 January 2014 – after several hundreds of Cambodian People’s Party (“CPP”) supporters and riot and military police armed with tear gas canisters, shields and batons were standing at the meeting venue. The meeting was postponed, shortly before CNRP leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha were scheduled to arrive, reportedly to avoid bloodshed and violence, in light of the heavy presence of security forces. The CNRP had received approval for the meeting from Interior Minister Sar Kheng earlier on 21 January 2014.The prevention of the CNRP to exert their right to freedom of peaceful assembly, protected under Article 41 of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia (the “Constitution”) and Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the “ICCPR”), ratified by Cambodia in 1992, is the latest in the series of recent violations of the right to freedom of assembly, including the Ministry of Interior’s 4 January 2014 ban on all forms of assembly or marches until “public order and security is restored.” Yet on Saturday, 18 January 2014, Prime Minister Hun Sen called onto CPP supporters to demonstrate and “oppose all acts that lack responsibility and have the characteristics of a coup.” The display of threatening security forces and CPP supporters is a clear message aimed at restricting the CNRP’s freedom of expression. In addition, not only is the current ban on assemblies in contradiction with Cambodia’s domestic and international legal obligations, but it is also clear that it is only an attempt by the RGC to silence its critics.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Ms. Sorn Ramana, Freedom of ExpressionProject Coordinator via telephoneat +855(0) 17 655 591 or email at [email protected].