Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Groups urge Kerry to demand gov’t reforms

Groups urge Kerry to demand gov’t reforms

US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses employees of the US embassy yesterday in the Saudi capital Riyadh. AFP
US Secretary of State John Kerry addresses employees of the US embassy yesterday in the Saudi capital Riyadh. AFP

Groups urge Kerry to demand gov’t reforms

Five rights groups yesterday called for United States Secretary of State John Kerry to use a visit to Phnom Penh this week to demand the Cambodian government stop persecuting political opponents and rights, environmental and trade union activists.

Kerry will arrive on Tuesday to meet with Prime Minister Hun Sen and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong in a bid to “strengthen” the countries bilateral and economic ties, as well as discuss the premier’s upcoming trip to the US.

An open letter published yesterday, released through human rights umbrella group International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), said any such improvement in relations should be made “contingent” on the government’s progress in promoting democratic reforms and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

“We urge you to demand an immediate end to the government’s acts of intimidation, judicial harassment, and violence against opposition officials and the immediate and unconditional release of all 17 opposition members and supporters who are currently detained or imprisoned,” stated the letter, signed by representatives of FIDH, Adhoc, Licadho, the Cambodian Center for Human Rights and the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development.

Government representatives were unavailable yesterday. Ruling party spokesman Sok Eysan declined to comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Rainsy will return at ‘favourable time’

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy on Saturday suggested he would not return to Cambodia as he had previously promised, saying that like liberators King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Charles de Gaulle, he would only do so at a “favourable time”. “I will go back to Cambodia

  • Temi tourism project approved by the CDC

    The $500.4 million Tourism, Ecological, Marine and International (Temi) tourism project has been approved by the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), according to a notice on its Facebook page on Monday. The project is part of Chinese-owned Union City Development Group Co Ltd’s (

  • US Embassy urged to stop ‘disrespecting sovereignty’

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation called on the US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Saturday to respect the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations after it called former opposition leader Kem Sokha “an innocent man” – a move deemed to be “disrespecting Cambodia’s

  • NagaWorld casino sees net profit of more than $390M last year

    Phnom Penh’s NagaWorld casino posted a 53 per cent net profit increase last year at $390.6 million, a sum which is almost equal to the combined net profit of all Cambodian commercial banks in 2017. NagaWorld’s parent company, NagaCorp Ltd, is listed on the Hong Kong