GENEVA (20 February 2018) – Two UN human rights experts expressed their grave concern about proposed changes to Cambodia’s Constitution which would impose far-reaching limits on democracy ahead of a national election this year, and beyond.

The changes, along with other proposed changes to domestic law including a lese majeste provision making it illegal to insult the monarchy, were adopted by the lower chamber of parliament on 14 February only 12 days after first being adopted by the Council of Ministers. The proposed changes raise serious risk of violating human rights law, the experts said.

“Lese majeste provisions are incompatible with Cambodia’s obligations under international human rights law, as they criminalize the legitimate exercise of freedom of speech,” said Rhona Smith, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia, and David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Read full News Release in English.

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