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New Criminal Law Worries Rights Groups

Cambodian rights groups are concerned a new criminal law gives more power to law enforcement without making them understand human rights protection, Sok Samoeun, a legal expert at the Camboda Defenders Project, said Monday.

Wider powers without this understanding, of the law or the human rights, could lead to abuse, he said, as a guest on "Hello VOA."

Better, clear training and understanding of civic freedoms need to be instituted in law enforcement to prevent rights violations of the people, he said.

The new law meanwhile nullifies some clauses of the old law that ensured effective evidence was introduced into the court.

Under the new law, a judge has more power based on initial reports that is not open to the former line of questioning.

Under the old law, evidence collected through illegal means was not considered valid. But the new law does not cover this, he said.

Without independent judges or more training, false evidence can more easily enter a case, Sok Samoeun said, leading to injustices.