Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Centre had green light



Centre had green light

Centre had green light

Dear Editor,

I would like to clarify some points in the Phnom Penh Post article entitled "Detained

Chinese claim neglect" written by Phelim Kyne and published in your edition

of October 29 - November 11, 1999.

The article states: "Immigration officials later rebuffed attempts made by representatives

of United Nations Centre for Human Rights to gain access to the villa while UNHCHR

efforts to enlist the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross

for assistance were equally unsuccessful."

In fact COHCHR recieved authorization from the authorities to visit the villa on

Thursday 28 September. A team from the office went to the villa with a representative

of UN High Commissioner for Refugees and a medical team from Licadho. Full access

to the villa and the possibility of private interviews was granted.

In addition, the Deputy Chief of the Immigration Department, the Provincial Governor

of Kandal, the District Chief of Kien Svay and the Deputy Police Commissioner of

Kandal Province accompanied the team.

It is also important to clarify that our Office did not request the assistance of

the International Committee of the Red Cross to gain access to the villa, despite

what is said in the article.

I would be grateful if you would ensure these points are clarified in you next edition.

Rosemary McCreery, Director, COHCHR

The Post responds:

Ms McCreery notes that the COHCHR "received authorization from the authorities

to visit the villa on Sep 28." As late as October 27 her staff told the Post

that no authorization had been granted and indeed the officials did not raid the

villa till Octorber 17.

Attempts to clarify this point and others such as the long delay between the reports

of inhuman treatment at the villa and COHCHR action were unsuccessful.

When contacted about her letter Ms McCreery said she did not know anything about

its contents, explaining she "just signed it as head of the [COHCHR] office."

When asked if the Post could meet with her to discuss these matters she said she

did not have her appointment book with her but would call back. She did not.

The Post does apologize to UN employee Juan Pablo Ordonez regarding his comments

about approaches to the International Committee of the Red Cross for assistance.

These attempts were described in the article as "unsuccessful." Mr Ordonez'

actual comments to the Post after he said he had asked for "immediate"

assistance from the ICRC were they: "...will not get involved...they're useless."

The Post accepts Mr Ordonez has a different interpretation of the nature of "success"

and regrets any hurt this may have caused him.

Editor

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a