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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt criticises Mu Sochua’s US testimony

Govt criticises Mu Sochua’s US testimony

THE government has issued a statement condemning last week’s US congressional hearing on human rights in Cambodia.

The statement, released Tuesday, focused especially on Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Mu Sochua, who told the Washington hearing on Thursday that Cambodian democracy is “experiencing an alarming free fall”.

In its statement, the government responded, “[The Cambodian government] totally reject[s] any unfounded accusations made by Mu Sochua.”

Prime Minister Hun Sen, the statement continued, “has always enhanced the reputation and honour of the National Assembly at national and international levels and promoted debates in the adoption of laws without prejudice”.

It also slammed the US Congress for not inviting Cambodian government officials to testify, warning that the move could relations with the US.

“A hearing with only a small group from the opposition is not balanced and does not respect the principles of democracy and fairness,” the statement read. “Such an activity will affect Cambodia-America relation[s].”

The two-page statement finished with a defence of the country’s record on human rights.

“[The Cambodian government is] very proud to note that Cambodia … is making progress in all fields, especially in the areas of human rights and democracy.”

During her testimony, Mu Sochua called for visa sanctions on officials suspected of corruption and the suspension of US aid to Cambodia’s Ministry of Defence. She is currently travelling in the US but plans to return to Cambodia on September 23.

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