Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - HRW slams ASEAN invites to US summit

HRW slams ASEAN invites to US summit

US President Barack Obama speaks during an ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur in November of last year. AFP
US President Barack Obama speaks during an ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur in November of last year. AFP

HRW slams ASEAN invites to US summit

Human Rights Watch has called on US President Barack Obama to make sure that human rights are at the top of the agenda when the US leader hosts the heads of ASEAN at a summit in California next month.

In a letter sent to the White House, dated January 19, the New York-based rights group calls out several authoritarian leaders across ASEAN that they say are responsible for “grievous human rights abuses [and] war crimes”.

HRW goes on to say that the summit “contradicts previous US policy” by extending an invitation to Prime Minister Hun Sen “who carried out a coup in 1997 and has ruled abusively in Cambodia for over 30 years”.

They also called on President Obama to hold sessions at the February 15-16 summit with leaders of civil society.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said yesterday that the US manages its human rights concerns through bilateral relationships and the California summit was a diplomatic opportunity for the US to meet with the bloc as a whole.

“It is in the interest of the US to work with ASEAN,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’