Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt demands consultation on UN rights report

Govt demands consultation on UN rights report

Govt demands consultation on UN rights report

GOVERNMENT officials said Wednesday that they welcomed the positive remarks from Surya Subedi, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Cambodia, during his second mission to the Kingdom, though Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith warned that Subedi must submit his report on the local rights situation to the government before finalising it.

Though Khieu Kanharith said Subedi’s mission has gone well thus far, he added that a failure by the Nepali law professor to consult with the government over his final report would violate the memorandum of understanding that established his position.

“Before he does the report, the important thing he has to do is meet with the government to discuss the report,” Khieu Kanharith said, adding that previous UN rapporteurs never consulted the government in crafting their reports.

“Now we wait and see whether [Subedi’s] work changes or not” compared with previous rights envoys, Khieu Kanharith said.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Subedi said he had observed “progress made by Cambodia in a number of areas” since his visit last June, praising government officials for their engagement with him and avoiding any direct criticisms. Key improvements, Subedi said, included the strengthening of a legal framework to manage land evictions and relocations, the completion of the first case at the Khmer Rouge tribunal and the adoption of the Kingdom’s new Penal Code.

Some, however, warned that Subedi must not be constrained by a desire to please the government as he carries out his duties.
“We want him to write the truth that he found … and offer recommendations in order to help the Cambodian people live peacefully … and enjoy human rights, democracy and an independent legal system,” said Kek Pung, president of local rights group Licadho.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the