Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Philippine female legislators denounce Hun Sen over slur

Philippine female legislators denounce Hun Sen over slur

Philippine female legislators denounce Hun Sen over slur

090831_05
Mu Sochua speaks to the press after being found guilty of defamation earlier this month.

Group calls the premier's defamation suit against Mu Sochua an act of chauvinism designed to stifle freedom of expression.

WE DENOUNCE THESE TACTICS OF INTIMIDATION, PERSECUTION AND REPRESSION....

A women's party in the Philippines has joined the international call for the Cambodian government to halt its campaign of intimidation against opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua, accusing Prime Minister Hun Sen of sexism.

Mu Sochua, an SRP parliamentarian, was convicted on August 4 of defaming Hun Sen and ordered to pay 8.5 million riels (US$2,028) in fines and 8 million riels ($1,909) in compensation. The charges stemmed from an April speech by Hun Sen in which he referred to an unnamed woman as a "cheung klang". The term means "strong legs" and is considered derogatory when used to describe women.

The speech prompted Mu Sochua to file a defamation suit, but Hun Sen denied that he had been referring to her and countersued her for defamation, pointing to an April 23 press conference in which she made her suit public. Mu Sochua's case was thrown out, whereas the premier was allowed to proceed with his.

The verdict, which Mu Sochua described as a "political game" that has cast Cambodia's judicial system "into darkness", met with widespread international condemnation.

Last week, the Gabriela Women's Party (GWP), which describes itself as the only all-female party in the Philippine House of Representatives, accused the prime minister of being a chauvinist.

"We strongly protest the discriminatory slur of the statements of the prime minister as anti-women and chauvinist," the statement reads. "Likewise, we deplore the alleged acts of repression as forms of attacks against the right to free expression, democracy and equality."

"We denounce these tactics of intimidation, persecution and repression, using the legal system against the administration's critics and members of the opposition party. We urge the Cambodian government to respect the rights of MP Mu Sochua as a woman leader and parliamentarian who is working for democracy, equality and justice."

The government was dismissive of the criticisms on Sunday. Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan accused the party of knowing nothing about Cambodian politics.

"They have no right to make statements such as this because they don't know the facts of the situation in Cambodia," he said.

"A party in the Philippines probably knows the least about Mu Sochua's case."

A hearing on the dismissal of Mu Sochua's lawsuit against Prime Minister Hun Sen was postponed earlier this month because of her absence from court.

The lawmaker was summoned to appear in court on August 17 by Prosecutor General Ouk Savuth after she contested a Municipal Court decision in July rejecting her lawsuit against Hun Sen.

Sam Rainsy Party spokesman Yim Sovann said she requested the hearing be delayed because she was due to visit the United States for medical treatment.

The parliamentarian, who represents Kampot province, is scheduled to return from the US on September 20.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Former chief bodyguard receives royal pardon

    The former chief bodyguard of late Senate president Chea Sim has received a royal pardon nearly eight years after he was sentenced to 15 years behind bars on several charges, according to a royal decree dated November 12, last year, and obtained by The Post on Wednesday.

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • US warned not to interfere despite successful meeting

    A senior Ministry of National Defence official said the Tuesday meeting between the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Joseph H Felter and General Neang Phat had helped strengthen relations between the two countries’ militaries. However, a senior Cambodian People’