Monday 13 July 2015 was the saddest day and a day of injustice for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Cambodia and the general public. This was due to the controversial Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organization (LANGO) being approved by the ruling Cambodian People Party’s Member of Parliament (CPP’s MPs) with absence of the opposition.
The immediate approval of the law by ignoring CSOs’ requests for consultation and amendment of the draft, has become custom in the rule of the Royal Government of Cambodia (“RGC”) and Members of Parliament of the Cambodian People Party (CPP’s MPs). Examples of this are the Law on Organization of the Courts, Law on the Statute of Judges and Prosecutors and Law on the Organization and Functioning of the Supreme Council of Magistracy. Provisions in these laws, passed unilateral CCP’s MPs, do not guarantee an independent court in line with Cambodian constitution, despite CSOs calling for withdrawal and amendment.
Analysis by CSOs indicate that the impact of LANGO is an unnecessary and politically motivated repression of citizens’ rights that violates the Cambodian Constitution and international law. The RGC should consider the devastating impact this law will have on freedoms of expression, human rights and democracy for all Cambodian citizens.
The LANGO will be debated by Senate’s 4th committee on 20 July 2015. The permanent committee will meet the second time to schedule full session. If nothing changed, the full session to approve LANGO will be on 24 July 2015.