October 6, 2022

Cambodia Asks UN Special Rapporteur to Make Accurate and Balanced Report

Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has called on the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and UN Special Rapporteur to make an accurate, practical, transparent and balanced report on human rights situation in Cambodia.

The Premier made the appeal in a meeting here at the Peace Palace this morning with visiting Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Cambodia, according to H.E. Eang Sophalleth, Assistant to Samdech Techo Hun Sen.

The Cambodian Prime Minister also asked the OHCHR and UN Special Rapporteur to pay attention to worrying tendencies undermining human rights such as hate speech, slander, false information, provocation, and incitement under the pretext of freedom of expression.

Regarding the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, Samdech Techo Hun Sen laid stress on the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC)’s successful COVID-19 vaccination programme as well as its attention to the citizens’ well-being by promoting social protection, providing assistance to the poor and victims of COVID-19, increasing salary for civil servants and armed forces, adjusting retirement pension, and launching retirement pension for all workers and employees under the labour law.

The RGC has taken urgent, thorough and effective measures to support the economy and improve social protection such as the implementation of Cash Transfer Programme for the Poor and Vulnerable Households during COVID-19, the promulgation of Law on the Management of the Nation in Emergency, and the adoption of administrative measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other severe and dangerous contagious diseases, aimed to ensure national security, public order, people’s lives and health as well as protect properties and environment.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen thus rejected an accusation saying that the adoption of laws and regulations is to restrict the civil space, considering it as a groundless accusation.

“Indeed, the adoption of laws and regulations in the COVID-19 context by adhering to the principle of integrity, necessity and proportion has the sole intention to rescue lives, protect citizens who obey the laws and prevent all offenses provoking social instability, affecting people’s well-being and public order,” he explained.

Democracy must go in parallel with the rule of law, he added, stressing that the practice of democracy without the rule of law will lead to anarchy. “In this sense, Cambodia wants all actors in democratic process to be responsible to make constructive criticism, not to incite for racial discrimination and sow hatred between Cambodians, which would lead to civil war,” he said.

Samdech Techo Hun Sen also emphasised the importance of human right respect while maintaining peace and stability. Cambodia has regularly organised elections since 1993, and up to now 6 general elections and 5 commune/Sangkat elections have been conducted with appreciation from national and international observers and high turnout rate.

Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn has been on a 12-day visit in Cambodia since Aug. 15. According to the OHCHR, during this first official visit to Cambodia, Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn will assess the situation of human rights in the country and the government’s efforts towards creating an enabling environment for the enjoyment of all human rights including political and civil rights and economic, social and cultural rights following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN special rapporteur will meet with national and local government officials, international and local civil society representatives, and other relevant representatives during his visit. He will present his preliminary observations during a press conference to be held on Aug. 26, 2022 at 14:00 local time.

Mr. Vitit Muntarbhorn will present his next report to the Human Rights Council in October 2022.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press