Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government fires back at the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur to Cambodia



Government fires back at the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur to Cambodia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Rhona Smith, UN special rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in Cambodia, speaks during a press conference in Phnom Penh on September 24, 2015. TANG CHHIN SOTHY/afp

Government fires back at the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur to Cambodia

The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has expressed dismay over the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur to Cambodia Rhona Smith’s comments on the forthcoming general elections. It questioned the timing and motive of her remarks.

Smith’s remarks appeared on the Facebook page of the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Cambodia on Friday.

She mentions government officials saying that abstaining from voting was illegal and those spreading messages about boycotting the national elections on July 29 will be fined.

“Unlike some countries, Cambodia does not have any law punishing the people who do not cast their vote. However, Cambodia’s election law penalises those who prevent others from going to vote as set forth in its Article 142,” it said.

The Foreign Ministry statement was issued on July 23 and made available on the same day.

“It appears that her call is supportive to a coordinated campaign of Sam Rainsy and members of the legally-dissolved party CNRP (Cambodia National Rescue Party), which seeks to sabotage a democratic contest in Cambodia by encouraging the electoral boycott among voters and teaching them how to spoil ballots on the voting day,” the statement reads.

Cambodians will cast their votes for some 20 parties that are vying for 125 parliamentary seats.

“The Special Rapporteur seems to lose sight of the dangerous populism of Sam Rainsy and his squad, who call on military rebellion against the government, instigate anti-China sentiment, incite racial hatred and xenophobia, and prove ultra-nationalism jeopardising peaceful relations with one of Cambodia’s neighbours.

“Such methods do not bear a semblance to democracy and are well condemned in any democratic society."

“The ministry notes with deep regret that the Special Rapporteur has never ever publically deplored the above undemocratic conducts,” said the statement.

MOST VIEWED

  • Without shoes or a helmet, a young cyclist steals the show

    Pech Theara gripped the curved handlebars of his rusty old bike, planted his bare feet on its pedals and stormed as fast as he could towards the finish line. The odds were against him as the 13-year-old faced off against kids with nicer bikes at

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway on schedule

    The construction of the more than $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway has not been delayed despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with more than 26 per cent of the project completed and expected to finish in about two years, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,