45th session Human Rights Council Interactive Dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on Cambodia - Delivered by Charlotte Darlow, Acting Permanent Representative, Geneva, Switzerland

Madame President

New Zealand thanks the Special Rapporteur for her ongoing reporting and encourages the Government of Cambodia to carefully consider the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur.

New Zealand acknowledges some recent steps by Cambodia with regards to civil and political rights, including the relaxation of Kem Sokha’s bail conditions.  

However, New Zealand remains concerned about reports of arrests and harassment of opposition political figures, and constraints on the activities of civil society organisations. We continue to call on the Government of Cambodia to ensure that opposition figures are free from repression and to take further steps to protect judicial independence and strengthen media freedoms.

Opposition parties, human rights workers, civil society, and media all have important and legitimate roles in a democratic society, and we encourage Cambodia to ensure that they are able to carry out their work without fear, threats, or arbitrary restrictions.

New Zealand acknowledges the efforts of the Cambodian Government in preventing the spread of COVID 19, and Cambodia‘s success in its public health response to date. 

New Zealand is, however, concerned with reports of arrests of those expressing views related to COVID-19. We encourage the Government of Cambodia to review laws which limit rights to freedom of expression. 

Thank you, Madame President