Since Cambodia’s last Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the situation for the rights to freedom of expression, information and association has significantly deteriorated in the country. In this submission ARTICLE 19 and PEN America highlight concerns relating to the right to freedom of expression and information in several key areas:
- Legal framework for freedom of expression
- Digital rights
- Media freedom
- Threats to human rights defenders, including environmental activists
- Freedom of association and the right to participate in public affairs
A rollback of press freedom in Cambodia has left the country with almost no independent media, while a political crackdown has seen the main opposition party dissolved and its leader imprisoned. Since Cambodia’s previous Universal Periodic Review (UPR), the Cambodian Government has not meaningfully addressed concerns related to these rights and has failed to bring laws and policies into line with international human rights law. Rather, the government has further assaulted freedom of expression and tightly circumscribed civic space, including by threatening human rights defenders, enacting legal provisions criminalising online expression, and facilitating the judicial harassment of government critics.