GENEVA (11 November 2019) - The Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia, Rhona Smith, welcomes the partial lifting of some judicial restrictions on Cambodian political opposition leader Mr. Kem Sokha. The court order prevents Mr. Sokha from conducting any political activities or travelling outside Cambodia and requires to present himself at any call by all competent authorities. Smith issues the following statement:
"The lifting of Mr. Sokha's house arrest is a progressive development, however I regret that the court order continues to limit his civil and political rights in particular his freedom of movement and freedom of association. I reiterate calls for the swift conclusion of the investigation into Mr. Sokha's case, or for the charges against him to be dropped.
I continue to remain concerned over the fate of those 85 individuals who have been detained by the authorities on political grounds.
I reiterate my call on the Government and all parties to reduce escalations in tensions and seek dialogue in a peaceful environment that allows for diverging political voices to be expressed, and to avoid any further restrictions on the rights to freedom of opinion, expression and peaceful assembly."
Rhona Smith (United Kingdom) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia by the UN Human Rights Council in March 2015.
Special Rapporteurs, they are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council's independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work.
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