From Human Rights Watch
Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen used a crackdown on rights and a bogus election to tighten his grip on power and solidify one-party rule, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2019.
In 2018, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) government furthered its repression of the political opposition, independent media, local human rights defenders, trade union leaders, and other activists. Authorities misused the country’s politicized and corrupt judiciary as a political weapon to prosecute human rights advocates and those with dissenting views.
“In 2018, Prime Minister Hun Sen destroyed any semblance of democratic rule in Cambodia by hounding critics, dissolving the main opposition party, and holding an election that ensured his dictatorial rule,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “Hun Sen has strangled the promises of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords, which aimed to create a democratic and rights-respecting Cambodia, while the countries that pledged to support those accords largely looked away.”
In the 674-page World Report 2019, its 29th edition, Human Rights Watch reviewed human rights practices in more than 100 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth says that the populists spreading hatred and intolerance in many countries are spawning a resistance. New alliances of rights-respecting governments, often prompted and joined by civic groups and the public, are raising the cost of autocratic excess. Their successes illustrate the possibility of defending human rights – indeed, the responsibility to do so – even in darker times.
Read full report here.