Theme “Promotion of Freedom of Expression” – in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, December 10, 2015: A one-day event to celebrate the International Human Rights Day (HRD) took place at the Freedom Park, under the collaboration of 67 organizations as the members of Cambodian NGO Working Group for HRD. This year, the theme for Cambodia was “Promotion of Freedom of Expression”.
Approximately 2,000 participants from NGOs, government, communities and garment factory workers attended in this occasion, which aimed to:
- Demand publicly for a full exercise of the freedom of expression
- Raise public awareness of the need for the full freedom of expression
- Encourage public to join exercising the freedom of expression and
- Demand for the review of some of current criminal provisions that lead to the restriction of the freedom of expression.
Dr. Tek Vannara, NGO Forum on Cambodia’s Executive Director, who attended the event with other local and international NGO and union Leaders such as Mr. Thun Saray and Ath Thun, mentioned that Cambodia is in need of convention from the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) to solve different concerns happening in Cambodia. In his remark, Dr. Vannara was confident that the freedom of expression one of the significant factors to bring justice and democracy in Cambodia. “Some cases were successfully solved this year such as the reduction of the ELC period, the land policy, the existing of the compensation committee for the dam projects, and benefit increasing for the workers,” he said. “However, we also observe that many new cases have happened and seemed to be the threat to Cambodian citizens, including the detention of the environment activists and the opposition representatives through the accusation on social media, the warning of being arrested of social media users for insulting. In my personal opinion, these acts could consider as a threat to the freedom of expression of the citizens, since there is no apposite law to define or clarify for these deeds.”
Mr. Thun Saray, President of ADHOC, Chairman of CHRAC and representative of Human Rights Day organizing committee stated that freedom of expression is the foundation of democracy which is very different from single-party rule because the respect and acceptance of multi opinion are more transparent and comprehensive then a single majority vote. Acceptance and respect for minority is a precious culture of democracy which enables people from different beliefs, color and trends to live together in peace.
It was noticed that the community representative was invited to share the joint statement to public before submitting to the national assembly during that time.
Taking the opportunity, the indigenous people (IP) urged for the resolution from the RGC upon their land problem. “One amid the other important problem that we urge for the acceleration support from the government is to speed up the 15 ethnic collective land registration and community forestry as soon as possible, as well as to increase the number of collective land registration from 10 to 15 communities per year,” Miss. Chhert Hoot, the IP representative during the occasion.
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day on which, in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 1950, the Assembly passed resolution 423 (V), inviting all States and interested organizations to observe 10 December of each year as Human Rights Day.
Click on the link below to download the joint statement in:
Khmer: http://bit.ly/1OYlHg9 ; English:http://bit.ly/1N3SAR9
This event was organized by NGOs Working Group for Human Rights Day – 2015