“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, considered 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?’ - that Cambodia is a country with the worst history of human rights in Asia, because this country does not proceed has made little progress in its human rights protecting systemsl.
“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
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Saturday, 20 December 2008