Archive for December 21st, 2008

International Organization Condemns Hun Sen’s Government for Serious Human Rights Abuses – Saturday, 20.12.2008

Posted on 21 December 2008. Filed under: Week 591 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 591

“An international human rights organization, the Asian Human Rights Commission, condemned Hun Sen’s government for seriously violating human rights in Cambodia, and it considered that 2008 is a year of serious human rights abuses; the Kingdom of Cambodia is now falling into a worse human rights situation than during the years after the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia – UNTAC – had left Cambodia in 1993.

“According to The State of Human Rights in Eleven Asian Countries [here is a brief overview over the whole report; a reference to the full report – 314 pages, PDF 4.5 MB – is given in the overview], published by the Asian Human Rights Commission, an organization which assessed the human rights situation in eleven countries in Asia for 2008, which considers that the human rights situation in Cambodia is returning to a worse level than before, after the Cambodian People’s Party of Prime Minister Hun Sen accumulated more power.

“The report added, ‘Hun Sen’s ruling party is a former communist party and has control over the institutions for parliamentary democracy and for the rule of law and the media since the communist days.’ The ruling Cambodian People’s Party has been able to squeeze out opposition parties, which challenge it, and it tries to destroys the rest the opposition that has remained.

“The report about the human rights in Cambodia which is published on the Internet by the Asian Human Rights Commission, pointed out that the human rights situation in Cambodia is not different from that in Burma [and the other countries: ‘In all the countries mentioned above, there were serious human rights abuses’ and serious threats to the human security of inhabitants]. The executive director of the Asian Human Rights Commission is Mr. Basil Fernando. Their report asks, ‘Human Rights in Cambodia: A Turning Point for the Worse?’ – Cambodia is a country with a bad history of human rights, it has made little progress in its human rights protecting systems.

“The report continued to criticize Hun Sen’s government, saying that the court system is corrupt, it is not just and neutral, while the police is staffed by trusted members of the party of the current government. Therefore, there is no way for normal people to make complaints to courts; the result of the complaints is that they loose against the rich and the powerful. Citizens have, in general, no power to protect their rights; in Cambodia at present, the ways to control the society by the executive worsens the human situation, because the control is concentrated in the hands of one person.

“The report pointed out that the planned creation of a new law by the Hun Sen government to monitor non-government organizations in Cambodia, the reduced the role of the United Nations in Cambodia, and the failure to reform the legal systems are major factors which conditioned the Cambodian human rights situation towards getting worse. The human rights situation in Cambodia might go down the road from where the elections organized by the Untied Nations in 1993 had helped to be pulled out. The hope of Khmer citizens is totally lost in 2008, because there is no place countrywide where human rights institution becomes better. It is added that the reduction of the role of the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights in Cambodia after the resignation of Mr. Yash Ghai as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Human Rights in Cambodia, [to be replaced only by a ‘Special Rapporteur’] makes Cambodia more isolated from international monitoring of human rights in Cambodia.

“A parliamentarian of the Sam Rainsy Party from Kampot, Ms. Mu Sochua, said that the plan to draft a law in 2009 to control non-government organizations is a concern that it might lead to more serious human rights abuses. She added that space for democracy is now getting tougher, and it is very bad that the government wants to control this narrow space further by creating a law to control non-government organizations.

“She continued to say, ‘Things will become worse in 2009, if a law to control non-government organizations, initiated by the government, is adopted.’

“Human rights observers in Cambodia acknowledged that the assessment of the Asian Human Rights Commission, which said that the human rights situation in Cambodia may be at a turning point to become, is right, because during recent years, the government, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the vice-president of the Cambodian People’s Party, has not taken actions to improve the respect for human rights according to the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the nation. On the contrary, Hun Sen’s government lets human rights abuses move towards a more serious situation, particularity by using of court system to jail citizens over land disputes.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3644, 20-21.12.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 20 December 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1825, 20.12.2008

  • Samdech Hun Sen Expressed Concerns Regarding Disputes among Monks [asking high ranking monks to implement existing regulations for monks]
  • The National Election Committee – NEC – Sues at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court to Implement a Decision of the Constitutional Council against Mr. Sam Rainsy [to pay Riel 10,000,000 [approx. US$ 2,500] being convicted for defaming the Cambodian People’s Party during the election campaign]
  • Development Partners Provide US$140 Million to Develop the Health Sector in Cambodia [Agence Française de Développement – AFD, AusAID, UK Department for International Development – DFID, World Bank, UNFPA]
  • Mr. Théoneste Bagosora [former colonel as a military officer, one time Director of the Cabinet of Rwanda’s Ministry of Defense] Is Convicted to Spend the Rest of His Life in Prisons for His Role in the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda [where 800,000 people were killed]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #308, 20.12.2008

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Regrets that the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – Released a Statement Withdrawing Itself from Election Monitoring of the Provincial and City Councilors Elections [17 May 2009, withdrawing because COMFREL assumes the winner is already known by looking at the number of commune councilors who are the electorate – and not the people]
  • The Number of Staff of the Fourth Term National Assembly Is Nearly 2,000 [according to an official close to the secretary general of the National Assembly, Mr. Leng Peng Long, there are 1,680 staff members, with salaries between Riel 600,000 [approx. US$150 ] and Riel 2,000,000 [approx. US$500]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #163, 20.12.2008

  • A Female Medical Doctor Is Sentenced to Serve Six Years in Prison for Performing an Abortion Which Resulted in the Death of a Woman [Phnom Penh]
  • The Man Who Threw Shoes at Mr. Bush Apologized Publicly [to the Iraqi Prime Minister]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6530, 20-21.12.2008

  • A Widow with One Daughter Was Murdered and Thrown into a Well because of a Border Disputes over a Piece of Bamboo Land [two of her neighbors did it and escaped – Kompong Chhnang]
  • Oil Price Drops to US$36.22 per Barrel although the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC – Reduced Its Output, but Cambodian Prices Are Not Balanced [one liter of fuel costs around Riel 3,200 [approx. US$0.80], while in Thailand and in Vietnam one liter costs only more than Riel 2,000 [approx. about US$0.50]
  • Political Crisis in Thailand Continues while Red-Shirt Groups [supporters of the ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra] Announce to Demonstrate in Front of Parliament House on 26 December 2008 and in Front of the Royal Palace on 28 December 2008

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3644, 20-21.12.2008

  • International Organization Condemns Hun Sen’s Government for Serious Human Rights Abuses
  • [A parliamentarian of the Sam Rainsy Party] Son Chhay: The Sam Rainsy Party, a Friend of the Thai Prime Minister [Abhisit Vejjajiva] Believes that Border Disputes Will Be Addressed Soon
  • High Ranking Officials of the Government [Ministry of Interior] React against the Criticism by the International Labor Organization [saying that the Cambodian authorities do not make sufficient effort to investigate to arrest the murderers who killed many trade union leaders in Cambodia]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4773, 20.12.2008

  • The Royal Government Adopts a Tourism Draft Law [to promote tourism services, to please tourists, to advertise Cambodian tourism effectively, to prevent negative impact of tourism, to guarantee maximum benefit from tourism, as well as to develop human resources for tourism]
  • Sexy Apsara Paintings Receive Negative Reaction from Khmer Culture Expert [Dr. Michael Tranet, who said that the paintings are different from the Apsaras on the walls of the temples of the Angkor era and from Khmer culture, and he requested those painters to change the ways they paint. The Minister Women’s Affairs, Ms. Ing Kantha Phavi, said that the website, affects Khmer women’s values and Khmer traditions]
  • 18 Slot Machines Set up Outside of Hotels in Phnom Penh, Two in Sihanoukville, and One in Kandal, Were Removed
  • German Bank Releases US$15 Million to Continue Three Rural Development Projects [for three programs: Rural Electrification of Southern Cambodia II, Rural Infrastructure Program Siem Reap and Kompong Thom, Asian Regional Microfinance Training Center]
  • CMAC Receives the Fifth Donation from Japan to Clear Mines [including 488 mine detecting machines, 44 deeper mine detecting machines, spare parts for mine detecting machines, tools for mechanic repairs workshop]
  • Lahong Khvang Seeds [castor oil beans?] Are Brought to Be Planted in Cambodia

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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