The ruling Cambodian People’s Party maintains power through violence, politically motivated prosecutions, repressive laws, and corruption. Prime Minister Hun Sen, in power since 1985, oversees one-party rule in the National Assembly since government-controlled courts dissolved the main opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, detained opposition leader Kem Sokha, and banned more than 100 opposition members from politics in the lead up to sham elections in July 2018. The government has also intensified its crackdown on independent media, local human rights defenders, and land rights activists. Rights to free expression and peaceful assembly are sharply curtailed, and there is no accountability for serious abuses.
- Human Rights Watch
The crackdown on human rights defenders, media, civil society and the political opposition intensified ahead of elections scheduled for July 2018. The authorities’ misuse of the justice system continued. New criminal charges were brought against serving and former leaders of the main opposition party. The authorities increased pressure on civil society that included conducting surveillance of human rights workers and restricting or shutting down organizations monitoring elections. Media freedom and diversity were dramatically reduced. Human rights defenders continued to be monitored, threatened, arrested and imprisoned. Montagnard asylum-seekers faced forcible return to Vietnam.
- Amnesty International