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Gov’t ‘clarifies’ alleged rights abuses for IPU

Hong Sok Hour is escorted into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court by police last year after being arrested by authorities.
Hong Sok Hour is escorted into the Phnom Penh Municipal Court by police last year after being arrested by authorities. Heng Chivoan

Gov’t ‘clarifies’ alleged rights abuses for IPU

A delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) – a transnational organisation of lawmakers – met with lawmakers, several ministries and the UNHCR over the past two days to discuss concerns about the beating of two opposition lawmakers last October as well as the jailing of opposition Senator Hong Sok Hour.

While the IPU declined to comment on their meetings with the Interior Ministry, National Assembly lawmakers and the UNHCR yesterday, Justice Ministry spokesman Chhin Malin said after his ministry’s meeting that he welcomed the opportunity to clarify Cambodia’s laws to the group.

“The Ministry of Justice had explained and clarified to IPU … that the information that they had received was not complete enough and was not completely true,” Malin continued.

He said the IPU was “surprised” by this and accepted the ministry’s explanation of the government’s cases against Hong Sok Hour as well as activists and lawmakers arrested over a violent Freedom Park protest.

As for the investigation into the beatings of Ngay Chamrouen and Kong Saphea, “we told [IPU] about the court procedure and the case is still open and still under investigation”.

Spokesmen for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, which – along with local and international NGOs – has staunchly condemned the beatings and the cases against its lawmakers, could not be reached yesterday.

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