Amid what the head of one rights NGO yesterday described as “growing repression” in the Kingdom, a resolution has been introduced in the US House of Representatives calling on the CPP-led government to cease the “harassment” and “politically motivated” prosecutions of opposition lawmakers.
The resolution’s call for “the Government of Cambodia to respect freedom of the press and the rights of citizens to freely assemble, protest and speak out against the government” on Thursday came in the wake of arrests of activists at last week’s “Black Monday” protest and an announcement by the Ministry of Information that news outlets could face repercussions if they fail to apply the honorific “samdech” to the names of senior politicians.
“It’s about time that the international community started paying attention to these growing attacks,” executive director of rights NGO LICADHO Naly Pilorge said yesterday.
“We have seen a really steep decline in the past few weeks in terms of intolerance and usage of the judiciary to arrest and charge and imprison various groups that are assembling peacefully and expressing themselves peacefully.”
Pilorge, however, declined to speculate whether the government would pay the resolution any mind. “Let’s see . . . if they want to continue being considered a democracy and have some legitimacy in the next two elections,” she said.
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan yesterday dismissed the resolution, saying the Cambodian constitution is respected by the government at all times and that any charges brought against opposition lawmakers are the results of their personal actions, rather than their political affiliation.
The resolution is currently before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.