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UN Permanent Mission of Cambodia on NagaWorld Protests: “Steps Taken by Authorities Legitimate and Proportionate”

PHNOM PENH: The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations at Geneva has shared an statement declaring its office utterly deplores what they call "irresponsible and misleading statements based on one-sided and unverified accounts of the four Special Rapporteurs concerning law application on the week-long unlawful protests in the Kingdom.

The Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Genevra speaks regarding workers protests against NagaWorld by the end of December 2021, in which the Phnom Penh Municipal Court has decided to detain two NagaWorld Union leaders on charges of incitement to commit a crime under articles 494 and 495.

The office in Geneva has given its position of the occurred, saying the steps taken by the Cambodian authorities are legitimate and proportioned. The statement declares that Special Rapporteurs referred to the right to stripe, but failed to mention the core requirements to be fulfilled before the strike can be legally staged.

The Permanent Mission of Cambodia has arguments that such demonstrations were declared illegal by the Phnom Penh Court of First Instance on 16 December 2021, undermining the authority of the Committee on Freedom of Association of the International Labour Organization, in which recognizes the role of an independent body, other than the Government declaring legality of a strike.

The statement has also responded to the critics of Special Rapporteurs saying their remarks erroneously portrayed the Ministry of Labor as a party to dispute with the protesters, while the Ministry plays a conciliatory role.

The Cambodian office in Geneva has also declared the Ministry has peacefully requests for the protesters to resume negotiations in a cordial way, ceasing their week-long unlawful protests, in which the Permanent Office has said: “threatens security, public order and safety”.

"The charges, made on the basis of concrete and sufficient evidences, including confession of some protests and financial sources from certain foreign actors, are in libe with articles 494 and 495of Cambodia ’s penal code, crafter with the help of Westerns experts”. Stated the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Cambodia in Geneva.

Their statement has also stated that tag the law application as repression of rights and freedoms is to denigrate the rule of law and equal application to all citizens as warranted by the Constitution. They added the defendants has the right to heard, including the right to counsel and to disprove the indictment as part of the rights to due process.

In addition, the Permanent Mission of Cambodia in Geneva has stressed those Special Rapporteurs have never stressed the exercise of freedom and expression carries with it special duties and responsibilities provided by laws, as stipulated in International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

As announced by the statement, the protestants exploited the situation for their hidden agenda disguised under the right to peaceful protests. “Unlawful or mercenary protests disrupting public order or bringing social chaos are not a constitutional exercise of the peaceful assembly.

At last, their released response asks: “The purported human rights experts, being not the UN staff but serving in their individual capacity, always feel that things should have been acted differently based on their rights theory. But, will they take liability if their experiment fails? The law enforcement is imperative to shield law-abiding citizens and to prevent repetition of Cambodia’s tragic past and recent tragedies in some countries as a result of foreign interference in the internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and democracy”.

In their conclusion, the UN Office of Cambodia in Geneva has spoken to the Special Rapporteurs, reminding them of abiding by the “Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate Holders”, telling them to “work on the basis of facts rather than disinformation. They should also refrain from making irresponsible remarks and unfounded allegations against a sovereign state without getting the facts straight”.

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