Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Kingdom rated ‘Not Free’ by report

Kingdom rated ‘Not Free’ by report

Masked, armed members of the Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit sit in a truck outside CNRP headquarters last year.
Masked, armed members of the Prime Minister’s Bodyguard Unit sit in a truck outside CNRP headquarters last year. Hong Menea

Kingdom rated ‘Not Free’ by report

Cambodia earned a “Not Free” rating from Freedom House’s annual Freedom in the World Report yesterday, a label it has received from the American NGO every year since 1995.

Cambodia received a rating of 31 out of 100, a slip of one point from the previous year. The report found that Cambodia’s press was “not free”, while the internet was only “partly free”. The country received low marks for political rights, which earned a six on a seven-point scale, with seven being the worst.

Cambodia also failed to qualify as an “electoral democracy”. Among its ASEAN peers, it only scored better than Brunei, Vietnam and Laos.

The past year saw what many have characterised as an assault on the opposition that included the exile of opposition party president Sam Rainsy, the conviction of his deputy Kem Sokha, the arrests and convictions of two opposition lawmakers, and the conviction in absentia of a third.

It also saw the imprisonment of human rights officials and the assassination of political analyst Kem Ley – all developments that many have labelled as politically motivated.

However, Phay Siphan, spokesman for the government, dismissed the report as “biased”, “false” and “propaganda”.

Observers, however, took the report more seriously, with Chak Sopheap, of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, saying that “the peaceful exercise of fundamental freedoms is severely restricted” in Cambodia.

UN human rights representative Wan-Hea Lee, meanwhile, said the index “point[s] to weaknesses in the rule of law, still prevalent corruption and a corresponding lack of confidence in corrupt institutions”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the