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United Nations

Australian Statement for the Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Cambodia, 6 October 2021

Human Rights Council – 48th session

Interactive Dialogue with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Cambodia

6 October 2021

Australian Statement

Australia welcomes the appointment of the new Special Rapporteur, and thanks him for his report. Australia welcomes Cambodia's ongoing engagement with the Special Rapporteur.

We have been pleased to partner with Cambodia on its efforts to respond to COVID-19, particularly on social protection and health, including vaccine delivery and procurement. We look forward to working with Cambodia as it assumes the role of ASEAN Chair in 2022.

We remain concerned about restrictions on civil and political rights, curtailment of press freedom, and the arrests of environmental activists, and opposition and civil society figures. We are concerned about charges against individuals based on their political affiliations, human rights work or publicly aired opinions, including opinions expressed online, and outside of Cambodia. We call on Cambodia to respect and protect all individuals’ rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. We call on Cambodia to resolve Kem Sokha’s case expeditiously, transparently and in accordance with procedural fairness.

Australia seeks the Special Rapporteur’s views on how the Council can encourage Cambodia to remove restrictions on freedom of expression, rebuild meaningful relations with civil society and guarantee an open political environment ahead of upcoming elections.

We remain committed to working constructively with Cambodia on these issues.

Word Count: 202 words

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