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Cambodian rights abuses – becoming a global issue

Civil society organisations around the world have sent a letter to the International Criminal Court, calling for the Cambodian elite to be investigated for crimes against humanity. The letter follows a formal communication on 7 October 2014 alleging that the government and private sector’s record of murder and eviction is a massive, systematic land grab spanning more than a decade and affecting an estimated six per cent of Cambodia’s population. Days after that complaint was filed, Taing Try, a Cambodian journalist investigating illegal logging in Cambodia, was murdered (FW 198)

If the International Criminal Court opens an investigation, it would be a very positive step towards justice for Cambodians who have failed to obtain results from national authorities. It would also give the EU cause for concern at a time when it hopes to launch VPA negotiations, and reinforce the global message that, when violence and abuse cross a threshold of gravity, international criminal law becomes engaged.

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