"Targeting" of political opposition in Cambodia must stop

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Ravina Shamsadani, Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Photo: UN Multimedia

Political opponents are being targeted in Cambodia, and the government has a responsibility to stop it.

That's the view of the UN human rights office, which highlighted a disturbing pattern of intimidation against Cambodian opposition figures in recent weeks.

Matthew Wells has more:

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)  said on Friday that there were worrying signs of growing intolerance towards political dissenters in the South-East Asian country.

An opposition Member of Parliament is awaiting trial on a series of charges, while 11 opposition activists have been jailed for taking part in an alleged "insurrection".

They are serving sentences of between seven and 20 years.

And on Monday, a group of pro-government protesters in the capital Phnom Penh, assaulted opposition MPs and threatened to attack the home of a leading assemblyman.

Local news reports said that police and security forces did nothing to intervene.

The OHCHR spokesperson is Ravina Shamdasani.

"We stress that the right to peaceful assembly and to freedom of expression, belongs to all individuals, regardless of their political or other opinion. It is the government's responsibility to ensure that individuals are not targeted for their political affiliation, or for expressing dissenting views."

She welcomed the announcement by the government that a commission of investigation was being set up, to examine Monday's attacks, adding that it had to be independent and impartial.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’09″

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