via CAAI News Media
US 2009 Human Rights Report Released
Saturday, 13 March 2010 03:18 DAP-NEWS
The US Department of State released its 2009 Human Rights Report Mar 11.
The report examines the status of human rights in 196 countries during 2009 and assesses the performance of governments in putting into practice their international commitments on human rights.
The, a widely respected human rights reporting mechanism, has become one of the most significant tools available to the US Government to help determine foreign policy strategies that promote the development of democratic systems and principles, remedy abuse and disregard for human rights, and facilitate partnering with countries to develop their capacity to address human rights concerns.
For Cambodia, the report noted the Government’s promulgation of the Law on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as a positive step forward, as well as efforts to implement National Minimum Standards for the Protection of Rights of Victims of Human Trafficking, which will help assist those who are most vulnerable.
The report found that improved training and discipline by leaders of security forces led to fewer serious abuses than in 2008, such as arbitrary killings by members of the security forces. However, the report noted concerns in several areas including the Government’s restriction of free speech and freedom of the press through disinformation and defamation lawsuits; the forcible removal of 20 Uighur asylum seekers to China without the benefit of a credible process to determine refugee status; and continuing concerns related to land disputes and forced evictions. Endemic corruption and the continuing challenge of a weak judiciary were also highlighted by the report.
“The government’s human rights record remained poor,” the report found. “Security forces committed extrajudicial killings and acted with impunity. Detainees were abused, often to extract confessions, and prison conditions were harsh. Human rights monitors reported arbitrary arrests and prolonged pretrial detention, underscoring a weak judiciary and denial of the right to a fair trial. Land disputes and forced evictions were a problem. The government restricted freedom of speech and the press through defamation and disinformation lawsuits and at times interfered with freedom of assembly. Corruption was endemic.”
EU Lawmakers To Visit Cambodia
Saturday, 13 March 2010 03:17 DAP-NEWS
The Delegation of the European Parliament for relations with the countries of Southeast Asia and ASEAN will visit Cambodia from 18 to 20 March 2010, a statement from the EU office here said.
The Delegation will include nine Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). They will meet with high-level representatives of the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Parliament, as well as with representatives of civil society and the private sector.
Through the visit, the Parliament Delegation aims to update its knowledge of recent political and economic developments in Cambodia. Specific themes of interest include the impact of the international financial and economic crisis and the bilateral trade issue; the state of affairs in human rights; the EU cooperation program in Cambodia; and the commercial relations between the EU and Cambodia.
The delegation will be led by Chairman Dr. Werner Langen. The other MEPs participating are Ivo Belet (2nd Vice-Chair) Ms Christina Gutierrez-Corine, Barbara Weiler, Norbert Neuser, Csaba Ory, Liem Hoang Ngoc, Francesco Enrico Speroni, and Adam Bierlan.
The Members of the European Parliament represent respectively the Group of the European People’s Party - Christian Democrats; the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the Greens and European Free Alliance; the European Conservatives and Reformists Group; and the Europe of freedom and democracy Group.
During their three-day visit, the Delegation will have meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong; Minister of Interior Sar Kheng; and Minister in charge of the Council of Ministers Sok An.
The Delegation will further meet with the President of the Cambodian Senate Chea Sim, the President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin, and members of the Cambodian Parliament. Other interlocutors include the political leaders of CPP, SRP, HRP, FUNCINPEC, and NP; and members of the international community.
MFA Rejects UN Comments on Anti-Corruption Law
Saturday, 13 March 2010 03:16 DAP-NEWS
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday rejected UN comments on the Anti-Corruption Law.
The UN Cambodia country team had suggested that the draft be considered for longer than the mere few days offered by the government.
“In any case, the Royal government of Cambodia cannot accept lessons given by a few individuals,” the statement said. “As in the case of other democratic countries around the globe, the Royal Government of Cambodia came to power by the will of the majority of the Cambodian people through free and fair elections. Like any democratic country, the Royal Government of Cambodia governs the country on the basis of laws passed by the parliament, Royal Decrees and other Directives.”
The statement claimed “that no democratic country would be required to delay parliamentary debates on a draft law in order to allow time for further scrutiny by the opposition parties or the civil societies,” though the UN did not “require” Cambodia delay, only suggesting a longer consultation. It is “utterly unacceptable,” the statement said, for the UN to “demand publicly through the media such a move by the Cambodian government.”
The statement was surprisingly light on references to the massive support provided by the UN to Cambodia since 1993, including technical assistance to help lawmakers draft many of the Kingdom’s new laws.
“The Royal Government of Cambodia had also sent delegations to learn form the experience of anti-corruption institutions of various countries, including Singapore, Hong Kong, and Malaysia. In August 2005, a seminar participated by Cambodian government institutions and a number of non-governmental organizations was conducted in order to collect more inputs and recommendations for improving this draft law,” the statement noted.
The statement warned that the UN “should not act out of its mandate, in flagrantly interfering in the affairs of a UN member State. Furthermore, it should refrain from acting as if it were the spokesperson of the opposition parties.”