Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Press ignoring ‘savage crackdown’ in US: Prime Minister

Press ignoring ‘savage crackdown’ in US: Prime Minister

PM pops the top on Coke factory - At the opening of a new Coca-Cola factory in Phnom Penh yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly complained to US Ambassador William Heidt about the “savage crackdown” on protests against US president-elect Donald Trump in the US.
PM pops the top on Coke factory - At the opening of a new Coca-Cola factory in Phnom Penh yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen publicly complained to US Ambassador William Heidt about the “savage crackdown” on protests against US president-elect Donald Trump in the US. Pha Lina

Press ignoring ‘savage crackdown’ in US: Prime Minister

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday complained to US Ambassador William Heidt about the lack of attention from media and rights group being paid to what he termed a “savage crackdown” on protests against US president-elect Donald Trump in the US.

Speaking at the opening of the new Coca-Cola factory in Phnom Penh, which the ambassador attended, Hun Sen also asked Heidt to take note of the fact that when post-election protests occur in the US, “crackdowns” are accepted.

“William A Heidt, I should ask a favour from you, if you do not mind, because the things happening in Cambodia have happened in the US,” Hun Sen said. “Demonstrations have taken place in many states after the US election, and it has not been small.”

“I want to ask you to note clearly the speeches of analysts and some human rights representatives who said . . . clearly that the crackdown in the US is correct, and does not violate human rights,” he added. “By doing so, there will be no double standards.”

Unlike Cambodia after the 2013 national election, no one protesting has yet been killed or severely beaten by the police in the US, or given jail sentences such as opposition official Meach Sovannara’s 20-year term for “leading an insurrection” for attending a protest.

Hun Sen yesterday also complained about a Post article about the US protests, which he said had downplayed the severity of the crackdown by showing a woman who did not appear to be a victim of repression.

“The demonstration in the US, they put a photo showing a woman with sunglasses and walking handsomely, while the media was widely broadcasting about the savage crackdown of the US police forces on tens of thousands of demonstrators,” Hun Sen said. “Is it fair the Cambodian media has not issued a photo showing the savage crackdown of the US police on the demonstrators against the election results, but instead used a photo of woman who looks like a tourist in a coastal area?”

US Embassy spokesman Jay Raman said via email he was not aware of what Hun Sen was referring to when he spoke of a “crackdown” in America, or of any other misconduct in the protests. “Protests related to the 2016 US elections were modest in scale and largely peaceful,” Raman said via email. “Some arrests have been reported, and these cases are being handled in accordance with legal procedures. We are not aware of any significant allegations of inappropriate police behavior or ‘crackdowns’ vis-à-vis the demonstrators,” he added.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ALEX WILLEMYNS

MOST VIEWED

  • US think tank warns of China's 'ulterior motives'

    A US think tank on Tuesday warned that spreading Chinese investment in the Indo-Pacific follows a pattern of leveraging geopolitical influence at the expense of the nations receiving investment, including Cambodia. The report looks at a sample of 15 Chinese port development projects, noting that the

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • More than three tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia seized in Mozambique

    A total of 3.5 tonnes of ivory reportedly bound for Cambodia was seized by authorities in Mozambique late last week, according to the NGO Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). CITES' information was based on a report from the

  • Shipwreck found off coast of Koh Kong

    Royal Cambodian Navy researchers are working to identify a decades-old shipwreck found earlier this month off the coast of Koh Kong province. Divers found the 70-metre-long wreck on April 4 about a mile from Koh Chhlam island, according to Navy officials. Deputy Navy Commander Tea Sokha,