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01st May 2009

UN sends Exonian to investigate human rights in Cambodia

The UN Human Rights Council has appointed Professor Surya P. Subedi (1989, International Law) as the next UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia.

One of only eight UN country-specific Special Rapporteurs in the world, Professor Subedi will be expected to identify human rights problems in the country and give constructive recommendations to help tackle them. He said: “The job will be a huge challenge because it will involve speaking on behalf of marginalised and oppressed groups – the people who can’t speak up for themselves. But I feel confident I can do a good job. My approach will be not to criticise people, but to offer constructive advice.”

The main issues he plans to address in Cambodia are the independence of the judiciary, press freedom, the treatment of human rights activists, the plight of residents who have been asked to leave their land to make way for development projects, and the treatment of prisoners.

“The main task will be to cast an impartial, expert eye on the overall human rights situation in Cambodia and offer constructive advice to the Government to address the problems that exist.” he said. “The aim would be to help the Government make democracy stronger and have greater respect for the rule of law… That way we can nurture prosperity, long-lasting peace and the rule of law throughout the country.”

Professor Subedi is Professor of International Law at the University of Leeds and a practising barrister. His areas of expertise include public international law, international human rights law, and international arbitration. He has published six books and a large number of articles in leading law journals around the globe, as well as articles on human rights, the rule of law and democracy in national and international newspapers.

He was awarded an honorary OBE in 2004 for his services to international law and Britain-Nepal relations.

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