Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t chides EU over Sokha statement

Gov’t chides EU over Sokha statement

Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap yesterday hit back at EU representatives over comments regarding the ongoing Kem Sokha case. Photo supplied
Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap yesterday hit back at EU representatives over comments regarding the ongoing Kem Sokha case. Photo supplied

Gov’t chides EU over Sokha statement

A Justice Ministry spokesman yesterday lashed out at European Union representatives for a statement condemning the “judicial harassment” of opposition leader Kem Sokha, while the Ministry of Education slammed a teachers union that backed the CNRP acting president.

The statements – delivered separately – come as the government faces mounting criticism over a slew of legal cases widely believed to be part of a political crackdown against Sokha, his party and members of civil society.

In a statement on Monday, the EU delegation called for the government to cease using the judiciary to harass its political opponents.

In a response uploaded to the Cambodian People’s Party website, Justice Ministry spokesman Kim Santepheap yesterday chided the EU for interfering, stating that “each country has its own law”.

Santepheap attempted to draw a parallel to the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former head of the International Monetary Fund who was arrested in New York in 2011 following allegations he sexually assaulted a maid (the charges were later dropped).

He asked why the EU did not issue a statement when the US held the French national, apparently suggesting that somehow constituted a double standard, despite the strikingly different circumstances of the cases.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry yesterday condemned the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association for threatening to call a strike if Sokha is arrested.

The statement accused the union of lacking independence and serving the opposition party. In a response, the union’s acting director, Ouk Chayavy, hit back, accusing the ministry of being controlled by the ruling CPP.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release