PM Hun Sen: Cambodia Is a Land of Freedom

Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen has reaffirmed that Cambodia is a nation of freedom.

Speaking at the 41st Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland this afternoon (Phnom Penh time), Samdech Techo Hun Sen underlined the freedom being enjoyed by non-governmental organisations (NGOs), press freedom, labour rights, and rejected any reports against the real situation in Cambodia.

"It is very strange that Cambodia was asked to strengthen her democracy, human rights, and the rule of law; yet when the authority enforced the laws, we were accused of restricting freedom of expression. Worse than this, some of those countries and institutions have taken matters related to human rights as a hostage, when discussing on assistances or economic preferential treatment extended to Cambodia. We are deeply sad to learn that human rights have been used nowadays by some powerful countries as a political tool or as new operational norm or an excuse for them to interfere in weaker states with sovereignty, full independence and territorial integrity," he said.

On the democracy and human rights perspective, Samdech Techo Hun Sen clearly stated that Cambodia remains committed to strengthening close cooperation and constructive partnership with all UN human rights mechanisms and relevant stakeholders in order to further enhance the promotion and protection of human rights in the country. But, he emphasized, respecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of states, impartiality and non-selectivity should be set as guiding principles for all, regardless of small or big countries, in promoting human rights, while taking into account of the political, historical and social context of each country.

"All human rights should be addressed within the global context, with one single standard, through constructive, nonconfrontational, non-politicised and dialogue-based approach. In this spirit, I would like to request all stakeholders to consider all issues in a holistic approach, that is to look at the whole forest, instead of one single tree with prejudice towards one's political agenda," he stressed.

According to Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Cambodia is regarded as a heaven for non-government organizations (NGOs) and some of them have been funded from abroad where the sources have never been reported. There are 5,400 registered NGOs, as of now, including those operating to promote human rights, democracy, local development, etc.

Regarding the Freedom of Press, Cambodia has 550 print newspapers, 148 online newspapers, 211 radio stations, 21 TV networks, 113 TV cable channels and 39 press associations, he pointed out.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press