HUMAN rights abuses and institutionalized impunity were the main items on UN Special
Representative for Human Rights Thomas Hammarberg's agenda during an Aug 30-Sep 5
visit to Cambodia.
His trip followed the release of a 26-page report, detailing summary executions,
missing persons and torture during and after the July fighting, by the UN Center
for Human Rights.
Hammarberg said he discussed the report with top officials, all of whom "gave
assurances about human rights in the future". He also met King Sihanouk in Siem
Reap, who he said was "clearly worried" about human rights and supportive
of the work of the Center and Khmer NGOs.
Hammarberg said that Second Prime Minister Hun Sen, who had earlier criticized the
Center and the accuracy of its allegations, found the report to be "positive
and constructive". Hun Sen had promised investigations into all the cases in
"The assurances I got this time from the Second Prime Minister were more fargoing
than I heard before. I will now follow closely the progress made. If in the end no
justice is made in relation to the killings of 30 March and during July, the picture
would be very bleak indeed."