GENEVA (3 June 2020) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed alarm at the clampdown on freedom of expression in parts of the Asia-Pacific region during the COVID-19 crisis, saying any actions taken to stop the spread of false information must be proportionate.

“In Cambodia, the UN Human Rights Office has documented the arrest of 30 individuals, including six women, and a 14-year-old girl, for COVID-19 related public comments and social media posts. A number have been charged with spreading of fake news or false information, incitement to commit a felony, and plotting against the Government. Fourteen remain in detention, 10 of whom are associated with the disbanded Cambodia National Rescue Party”, said Bachelet.

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