UN human rights expert shares concerns on COVID-19 law, receives no answer from government

Motorists show official exemption letters to Phnom Penh police during curfew enforcement from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., April 1, 2021. Panha Chhorpoan

The outgoing UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights has expressed concerns a sweeping law intended to halt the spread of Covid-19 could be used to restrict civil rights in Cambodia.

No Covid in prisons: officials respond to UN concerns

Prisoners arrive at Phnom Penh Municipal Court ahead of their trials on June 2020. Panha Chhorpoan

Cambodia’s overcrowded prisons remain free of COVID-19, an official said on Wednesday, responding to calls from the United Nations to blanket test all inmates at facilities visited in November by an official at the center of Cambodia’s first community outbreak of the contagious disease.

Cambodia’s representative to UN interrupts activist monk at rights council

Prominent activist monk Luon Sovath’s speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council on October 2 was repeatedly interrupted by Cambodia’s permanent representative in Geneva, who said Sovath is “not a real monk” and brought up the rape and defamation charges against him, which the monk has denied.

UN chief’s report addresses intimidation of NGOs

As part of his annual address to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council, UN Secretary-General António Guterres on September 30 will present a report calling on member states including Cambodia to educate public servants on reprisals and intimidation, noting that local officials had previously harassed groups for engaging with the UN.

Families of jailed CNRP members vow to secure their release

Now in their seventh week of peaceful protests outside the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, family members of jailed former Cambodian National Rescue Party (CNRP) members have said they will not rest until their relatives who were arrested for their alleged involvement in a plot to topple the government are released.