Human Lives Human Rights: On Sunday, Cambodia will be conducting its seventh general election since the United Nations administered the vote in 1993. It is widely anticipated that the Cambodian People’s Party will secure all seats, similar to the 2018 election, which was deemed unfair by election monitors.
Over the past five years, Cambodian authorities have been dismantling the remaining rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association. This has resulted in a growing crackdown on human rights in the country. Many individuals believe that their voices are not being heard or represented in the election process.
During Prime Minister Hun Sen’s tenure, there has been a significant crackdown on independent news outlets in Cambodia. Authorities have either forced their closure or subjected them to intense pressure.
Additionally, political opponents have faced harassment, intimidation, physical assault, and imprisonment through mass trials. The rights of candidates to form political parties and participate in the electoral process have also been restricted. Disturbingly, there have been instances of opposition party activists being attacked in public, often with metal batons, and in 2021, a political activist was fatally stabbed in what many believe to be a targeted attack.
Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of Cambodia, has been associated with inciting violence. This was evident in a video that was livestreamed from his official Facebook account in January. The video led to attacks against political opponents, which prompted Meta’s Oversight Board to intervene. They ordered the removal of the video and recommended the immediate suspension of the Prime Minister’s official account for a period of six months.