Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t touts rights record in new videos

Gov’t touts rights record in new videos

Newly appointed head of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, Keo Remy (right), speaks during a press conference in Tuol Kork earlier this month.
Newly appointed head of the Cambodian Human Rights Committee, Keo Remy (right), speaks during a press conference in Tuol Kork earlier this month. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t touts rights record in new videos

The government, accused recently of launching a “crackdown” on its political opponents, yesterday released two videos touting the improvements made in press freedom and civil liberties in Cambodia.

The short clips, produced by the government’s Cambodian Human Rights Committee, feature narration by Hun Sen, who has ruled the Kingdom as prime minister for more than 30 years.

He notes Cambodia’s media landscape has grown from two newspapers in the 1980s to more than 20 television channels and 800 print and online outlets today, and asks “how could a man be considered a dictator for having developed a state this far”.

In the second, he speaks of Cambodia’s economic development, as images contrast Phnom Penh in the wake of the Khmer Rouge regime and the city today.

“The 7th of January, 1979, has brought all sorts of rights,” the premier notes, referring to the day the Vietnamese-backed invasion force, of which Hun Sen was a senior member, toppled Pol Pot’s regime.

Political commentator Ou Virak said while the “propaganda” held some truth as the economic and media environment had indeed improved in recent decades, it glossed over many issues at the heart of criticism levelled at the government.

Virak, who is facing a defamation suit brought by a ruling party spokesman, said legal pressure was still regularly applied to journalists and critics.

The jailing of five people in relation to a legally questionable case against opposition leader Kem Sokha did little to help the government’s image, he said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan, however, said criticism was often channelled through “some NGOs”, which he labelled foreign agents.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all