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April 08, 2011

Rights Groups Protest Cambodia Plan to Tighten Charity Rules

Several major human-rights groups are protesting a proposed Cambodian law they contend is aimed at cracking down on activists and charities, says Agence France-Presse.

The draft measure would allow Cambodia’s government to shut down or refuse to register nonprofit groups without possibility of appeal. In a joint statement, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and six other organizations said the law will undermine Cambodian civil society and they urged donors to take a stand on the issue.

Khieu Sopheak, a spokesman for Cambodia’s Interior Ministry, said the measure would help charities conduct their activities “in accordance with Cambodian laws.” Some organizations active in the country “use the funds they get for their own interests and do not work to serve society,” he said.