A week after the European Parliament issued a damning resolution on Cambodia’s human-rights situation and called for a revoking of trade privileges, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has shot back.
“It is essential for the EU parliament to study and better understand the situation before passing any such wrong and biased resolution in the future,” reads a letter to the president of the European Parliament from So Soengha, charge d’affaires at the Cambodian embassy in Brussels.
Although the diplomat avoids mention of Everything But Arms – a scheme allowing Cambodia to export agricultural products duty free, which the parliament recommended be suspended – he insists any linking of land issues to rights violations is overblown.
“With regard to... widespread land rights violation, forced eviction and excessive use of force related to the so-called economic land concession, the charges are simply false,” reads the letter, which takes time to disabuse the recipients of other misguided notions, the motivations behind Mam Sonando’s conviction among them.
To contact the reporter on this story: Abby Seiff at [email protected]