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Solidarity Statement for Cambodia's Free and Fair Elections

SocDem Asia watches with glued interest the upcoming June 4 commune elections in Cambodia as a major test to a fragile democracy in transition after a genocidal rule of the Pol Pot regime.

In the rundown towards such democratic exercise, we view with alarm the continuing attack against the political opposition through judicial harassment, physical attacks against parliamentarians and peaceful civilian demonstrators, the arrest and detention of human rights activists, and amending its law on political parties that enable the government and courts to suspend and dissolve political parties for violating vaguely worded provisions as well as disqualifying a party if its member is convicted of a crime.

SocDem Asia expresses its solidarity with the Cambodian people in affirming the path towards democracy, rule of law, and respect for human rights. As a coalition of social democratic parties and movements in Asia, we are one with Cambodians in fighting a growing threat of dictatorship.

SocDem Asia calls on the ruling party led by Hun Sen's Cambodia People's Party to ensure free, fair, and peaceful elections.

We also call for the immediate release of detained human rights activists coming from civil society organizations of Cambodia. Since 28 April 2016, five Cambodian human rights activists have been detained for false accusations of bribing a witness in a case involving the country’s opposition leader.

Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, Lim Mony, and Ny Chakrya have been in jail for over a year now awaiting trial. Last April, a judge extended their detention for another six months