Prime Minister Hun Sen has affirmed that the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights will not be shut down after an investigation by the Interior Ministry concluded it was not linked to an attempted colour revolution led by the dissolved CNRP.
The Interior Ministry launched an investigation into CCHR last week after Mr Hun Sen suggested it should be closed because it was founded by CNRP leader Kem Sokha, who remains jailed on treason charges.
Mr Sokha is accused of working with the US to topple the government through a colour revolution.
Mr Hun Sen said on Saturday that CCHR will not be shut down.
“After receiving a statement from CCHR as well as conducting an investigation into the centre, the Ministry of Interior has found it was not involved and has not violated any laws, so the royal government decided to keep this centre open so it can continue promoting human rights in Cambodia,” he said.
CCHR was founded in 2002 and has undertaken vital work to promote and protect the values and rights which are enshrined in the constitution, as well as international human rights treaties which Cambodia has voluntarily ratified.
Chak Sopheap, a CCHR executive, said she is grateful the government came to its senses.
“We are relieved about the announcement made, even though we did not doubt that the investigation would show nothing,” she said. “All it would show is CCHR’s commitment to the Cambodian people and its relentless efforts to promote and protect human rights.”
“We reiterate our principled work and our constant resolution to be apolitical, impartial and independent in all our actions,” she added. “We hope that the authorities will further recognise the essential role of a vibrant civil society in Cambodia, the importance of enabling an environment where it can operate freely, and consider NGOs as partners in a common endeavour to promote and protect rights in the country.”