CrisisWatch Cambodia

Unchanged Situation

Citing COVID-19 outbreak, National Assembly in which PM Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party holds all 125 seats 10 April unanimously passed state of emergency law, which allows govt to put in place broad range of measures in times of war or pandemics, including restrictions on people’s movement, communications, and distribution of information, with penalties of up to ten years imprisonment. Constitutional Council 27 April approved law, despite public criticism that it could be used to restrict civil and political freedoms. NGO Human Rights Watch 29 April reported that authorities “are using the Covid-19 pandemic to carry out arbitrary arrests of opposition supporters and govt critics”, said that police had arrested at least 30 people for allegedly spreading false information and other offenses between Jan and April, including one third linked to now-dissolved opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party.

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