France, US condemn calls to shutter CCHR

Traffic passes in front of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights’ headquarters on Monday in Phnom Penh.
Traffic passes in front of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights’ headquarters on Monday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

France, US condemn calls to shutter CCHR

The French and American embassies yesterday condemned Prime Minister Hun Sen’s call for the closure of prominent NGO Cambodian Center for Human Rights over its purported links to “foreigners”.

According to a press release, the director for Asia and Oceania at the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Thierry Mathou, visited Cambodia on Monday and yesterday to meet representatives of the government, opposition, and civil society.

“The Director urged the Cambodian government to once again become part of a democratic process and to allow the opposition, media and civil society to function without hindrance,” the press release reads. “He emphasized that the closing of the human rights NGO Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR), if it came to be, would be considered a particularly negative new development.”

Meanwhile, US Embassy spokesman David Josar said the US was “very concerned” at the calls to shutter CCHR. “This is part of a disturbing trend in Cambodia that has included limiting space for civil society, closing independent media outlets, and dissolving the main opposition party outright.”

Prak Sam Oeun, of the Ministry of Interior’s General Administration Department, would only say investigations into CCHR were ongoing. CCHR Executive Director Chak Sopheap yesterday said they had not yet heard from the Interior Ministry.

Additional reporting by Niem Chheng

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Police warn boycott FB group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign”

    Police said on Tuesday that they will pick up members of a Facebook group involved in the “Clean Fingers Campaign” that promotes a boycott of next month’s national elections. However, police merely planned to “educate” the group for now, but warned that if the

  • Ranariddh 'seriously injured', his wife dies in accident in Preah Sihanouk

    THE wife of former first prime minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh has died. Ouk Phalla succumbed to injuries sustained in a traffic accident on National Road 4 in Preah Sihanouk’s Prey Nub district this morning. She and the prince were immediately rushed to the Preah Sihanouk