A US State Department official yesterday expressed concern over the Cambodian government’s intimidation of opposition lawmakers ahead of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s first official trip to America next week, according to reports.
The premier, and ruling Cambodian People’s Party supporters, have warned of protests targeting Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmakers in Cambodia should a scheduled anti-Hun Sen rally go ahead outside the US-ASEAN summit on Monday, where Hun Sen will be in attendance.
According to the Associated Press, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes expressed concern over the situation and said the right to free assembly was protected in the US.
The remarks echo sentiments expressed by the US Embassy in Cambodia earlier this week.
The opposition fears a repeat of last October, when a pro-government demonstration, held in response to protests against Hun Sen abroad, ended with two of its lawmakers savagely beaten and sent to hospital in Bangkok.
Contacted yesterday, CPP spokesman Sous Yara said “each country has its own sovereignty, that’s all I can say”.