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UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia to visit Kingdom

Khuon Narim / Khmer Times Share:
UN rights envoy Rhona Smith. KT/Tep Sony

Rhona Smith, the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Cambodia, will visit the Kingdom later this month to follow up on the human rights situation in the country.

According to a UN statement, Ms Smith will visit the country from April 29 to May 9.

“I will be focusing my mission on the current situation of human rights, and will be following up on developments since my previous mission last November,” Ms Smith said in the statement.

“I also aim to continue my examination of human rights with respect to Sustainable Development Goals, looking in particular at non-discrimination and equality, and participation and accountability,” she added.

According to her agenda, she plans to meet senior government leaders, representatives of civil society and members of the diplomatic community.

Chin Malin, vice chairman of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, said the committee will meet with Ms Smith on April 30 and discussions will focus on human rights in the Kingdom.

“We will show her the progression of human rights and democracy in Cambodia,” he said.

Mr Malin noted that the government has done a lot of late for the rights of children and indigenous people.

“We have developed human rights through political stability, peace and economic growth, improving people’s livelihoods and creating jobs,” Mr Malin said. “It is clear there has been progress.”

Last November, Ms Smith called on the courts to drop treason charges against former opposition leader Kem Sokha or speed up his case and lift his restrictive bail conditions.

She said that she remains concerned over Mr Sokha’s freedom as he remains under court supervision while awaiting trial for allegedly colluding with the United States to overthrow the government.

Soeng Sen Karuna, senior investigator for rights group Adhoc, said his organisation will meet with Ms Smith as well.

“We will inform her of developments, especially how the Interior Ministry has opened space for civil society groups doing activities,” Mr Sen Karuna said.

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