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 defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one

  • Affordable housing project in Kandal nearing completion

    Worldbridge Homes Co Ltd’s $73 million affordable housing project in Kandal province’s Koh Kor village, in Sa’ang district, is on track to be completed at year’s end or at the beginning of next year, its general manager Yuk Sothirith told The Post

  • Crimes up with 211 deaths, influx of foreigners to blame

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday said crimes increased by eight per cent last year, resulting in 211 deaths. He revealed the figures during the ministry’s 2019 review and laid the blame for the increase on an influx of foreigners into the Kingdom. “The crime

  • Westerdam passenger ‘never had’ Covid-19

    The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the US citizen that allegedly tested positive in Malaysia after travelling on the Westerdam was never infected with Covid-19 in the first place. In an article published in the newspaper USA Today on Friday, CDC

  • Remaining MS Westerdam passengers test negative

    Tests conducted on the remaining 781 passengers of the MS Westerdam for Covid-19 came back negative, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Wednesday. It also noted that the last 233 passengers to disembark the MS Westerdam are now in Phnom Penh after they were transported there in