INDEPENDENT experts have slammed the authorities' refusal to initiate investigations
into all but two acts of serious human rights violations since the March 1997 grenade
The assessment was carried out in April by Arun Bahagat, former director of the India
Intelligence Bureau and Professor Peter T Burns, QC, a member of the UN Committee
They say in their report that "from inquiries made, it became clear that none
of the 42 cases have been seriously investigated or even at all".
They were also concerned about the apparent acceptance of political murder as shown
by the lack of progress into the March 30 grenade attack and the murder of Interior
Secretary of State Ho Sok on the grounds of his own ministry.
"The United Nations experts were struck by the fact that political homicide
engendered no serious attempts at investigation and resolution of the two incidents
with which they were concerned," it says.
"Instead, a culture of impunity for such crimes seems deeply imbedded in the
institutions of governance in Cambodia.
"Only if the will to remedy this condition is manifested at the highest levels
of government is it likely to change."
The report says that the current police and justice system is capable of "dispensing
objective justice", but that depends on its acting independently.
"The processes of law have to move on their own volition and not depend on orders
from ministries," says the report. "The ministries of Justice and the Interior
should only exercise administrative control."