Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Kingdom’s human rights better than US’

‘Kingdom’s human rights better than US’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Around 500 participants, comprising citizens and civil society groups, celebrate International Human Rights Day at an event held at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on Monday. Pha Lina

‘Kingdom’s human rights better than US’

Cambodian Human Rights Committee president Keo Remy said the human rights situation in the Kingdom is good compared to neighbouring countries, as well as many others in Asia, Europe and even the US.

His remarks were made at the 70th anniversary of the International Human Rights Day on Monday. The event, held at the Diamond Island Exhibition and Convention Center in Phnom Penh, was presided over by Senate president Say Chhum.

It was attended by nearly 3,000 people, including members of the Senate and National Assembly, civil servants, members of the armed forces, community representatives, and representatives from national and international organisations.

Remy said there is no country in the world in which human rights are perfectly respected and cited recent criticisms of Europe and Australia over their treatment of refugees and asylum seekers as examples.

“In the EU, there are still human rights issues. There are accusations about how refugees are received. This point is lacking. Australia also has serious issues regarding refugees and asylum seekers who were sent to islands in the Pacific, like Manus and Nauru,” he said.

Remy also claimed that many Cambodians were wrong in their perception of the US as a bastion of democracy and human rights, saying that it also experiences many problems in those areas.

He cited US prison statistics, saying that the 2.2 million incarcerated adults in the US comprise 25 per cent of the global prison population, with a disproportionate amount of them being ethnic minority groups.

“The human rights situation in Cambodia is very good compared to neighbouring countries and others in Asia, Europe and the US. Our situation is good,” he stressed.

At the same event, Senate president Say Chhum said that historically, human rights were not respected during times of war, turmoil and social insecurity in Cambodia.

Chhum said Cambodians especially suffered during the Democratic Kampuchea regime between 1975-1979, in which the Khmer Rouge devastated the nation’s education, health and judicial systems.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU) president Rong Chhun speaks at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park on Monday. Pha Lina

It also attacked human rights, religion, traditions and culture in the Kingdom. He said Cambodians never dared to express their views, demand justice or the respect of human rights during the Khmer Rouge era.

“The leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, who ended the entire civil war in Cambodia with his win-win policy in 1998 and prevented the colour revolution movement that attempted to create a war in Cambodia, has brought peace and development in all sectors to the nation today”, Chhum said.

Also on December 10, roughly 500 participants, comprising citizens and civil society groups, celebrated the 70th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at an event held at Phnom Penh’s Freedom Park.

Police and security forces watched the gathering, which was held after an initially planned march was banned by authorities citing public order concerns.

One organiser of the event, the Cambodian Youth Network vice-president, Sar Mory, said the celebration served to promote basic human rights and democracy across Cambodia.

“Land grabbing and human rights abuses are often involved in development projects. Many people’s land has been grabbed, and when they protest, they are abused once again . . . the right of peaceful expression has also severely decreased in recent years,” he claimed.

In its Facebook page, the US Embassy in Cambodia marked the occasion by urging the government to restore independent media and drop all charges against political prisoners.

The post featured an image of former Cambodia National Rescue Party leader Kem Sokha, currently under house arrest after being released on bail following treason charges.

US Embassy spokesman Arend C Zwartjes was not available for comment.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh International Airport wins award as passenger traffic soars

    The Phnom Penh International Airport has been awarded Best Asia Pacific Regional Airport 2019 for its sustained high growth in passenger traffic in recent years. The award was presented by the Capa Centre for Aviation (Capa) – a world-leading and trusted organisation that provides market intelligence to

  • PM responds to Rainsy ticket claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday expressed frustration over claims by Sam Rainsy that he had altered Rainsy’s ticket with Thai Airways to prevent him boarding his November 7 flight to Thailand, from where he had claimed he would enter Cambodia. Hun Sen made the

  • Gov’t: Rainsy’s ‘coup plot’ a failure

    The government on Wednesday commended the Kingdom’s security forces for thwarting the attempted “coup plot” by former opposition leader Sam Rainsy through his announced return to Cambodia on November 9. The comments came as Rainsy, the “acting president” of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue

  • Chinese tourists lead international visitors

    Chinese tourists again topped the list of foreign visitors to Cambodia during the first nine months of this year, with the Ministry of Tourism on Wednesday reporting a 30 per cent increase on the same period last year. The Kingdom received 4.81 million international tourists in that

  • Princess Buppha Devi passes away aged 77

    Princess Norodom Buppha Devi, who was famous for her skills and key roles behind the Kingdom’s Royal Ballet, passed away on Monday from unspecified illness at a hospital in the Thai capital Bangkok, according to the official Facebook page of King Norodom Sihamoni. “May

  • PM urges ‘democracies’ to learn from horrors Cambodia faced

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday chided countries that he said declared themselves a democracy while supporting a military coup that eventually gave birth to the Khmer Rouge regime. Speaking during the 2nd Asia-Pacific Summit at the Peace Palace, Hun Sen said without naming those