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Landmark UNWGAD decision following intense advocacy work seeking for the release of 5 HRD in Cambodia

In December 2016, the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (an OMCT-FIDH partnership supported by the EU Human Rights Defenders mechanism) jointly with several Cambodian organisations, welcomed the recent Opinion No. 45/2016 adopted by the UNWGAD that recognise the arbitrary nature of the ongoing detention of human rights defenders Ny Chakrya,  Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda, and Lim Mony in Cambodia.

The decision of the WGAD followed a submission made by OMCT, FIDH, CCHR and LICADHO in June 2016. In a landmark move, the WGAD also referred for the first time ever to human rights defenders as a protected group that is entitled to equal legal protection under Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The five human rights defenders have been in pre-trial detention on charges of bribery since April 2016.