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Government impunity targeted by civil groups

Government impunity targeted by civil groups

LOCAL rights groups have lashed out Monday at the government for continuing delays in the investigation of high-profile assassination cases in 2008 which are, they say, feeding the Kingdom's culture of impunity.

"Even the current traffic in the street reflects the level of impunity still at large in the country," said Ou Virak, president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR).

According to Ou Virak, private vehicles using military and police registration plates are constantly breaking the rules of the road and this attitude demonstrates that they consider themselves above the law.

Chan Saveth, a senior monitor at the Cambodian rights group Adhoc, said that law enforcement is conducted only at the behest of individual politicians, while many of Cambodia's less powerful continue to suffer injustice.

"Civil society is strongly concerned over the promotion of human rights, which is in serious decline," he said.

Justice Minister Ang Vong Vathana, however, insisted that the government was trying to strengthen the rule of law.

"We are making every effort to make reforms in the judicial system to strengthen justice in society," Ang Vong Vathana said.

"You can't just see everything as impunity, we have to have evidence of this."