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HRC45: Nordic countries urge Cambodia to reverse the shrinking of civil society space

Interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the 
situation of human rights in Cambodia
45th session of the Human Rights Council
1 October 2020
Joint Statement by the Nordic countries delivered by Denmark

Madam President, 
I have the honor of delivering this statement on behalf of the Nordic countries: Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and my own country, Denmark. We thank Ms. Smith for her important work on the human rights situation in Cambodia. 

We are very concerned about the human rights situation in Cambodia, in particular as concerns repression of the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. There are alarming reports of arrests of human rights defenders, religious leaders and opposition members, and of unnecessary and excessive use of force against women demonstrators. Democracy and the rule of law are prerequisites for the full enjoyment of all human rights. 

We urge the Government to protect and respect all human rights, including civil and political rights, and to reverse the shrinking democratic space, including for civil society. We call on the Government to release all those detained for exercising their human rights, and to bring an end to the intimidation of civil society actors.

Ms. Smith, what do you see as the most important steps for the Government to take to reverse the shrinking of democratic space, including for civil society? 
I thank you.