Did Hun Sen violate the Constitution?

Did Hun Sen violate the Constitution?

Editor,

I read with serious concern your report PM’s texts unnerved opposition ahead of National Assembly return: lawmakers, in the Phnom Penh Post of October 10, 2016, in which it is alleged that Prime Minister Hun Sen threatened “bloodshed” if protests confronted his eldest son in Australia, adding that the premier had cited “seemingly intercepted correspondence from an activist in Melbourne and party spokesman Yim Sovann”.

If this report is accurate, the intercept of parliamentarians’ correspondence is a serious violation of human rights which are inscribed in the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia of 1993. It is also a violation of the freedom of expression and of privileged correspondence of a member of the National Assembly.

At the outset, the question that suggests itself is: How can the legal and elected opposition, which represents thousands of Cambodians, properly operate in such environment of threats, interception of their electronic correspondence and complete lack of facilities which most legal oppositions in so-called multiparty democracies accept for granted?

I was the Cambodia National Rescue Party activist in Melbourne who contacted Mr Yim Sovann asking him whether it was appropriate for CNRP members to organise the demonstration or not. In Australia, peaceful demonstrations are a right of all citizens, they are absolutely legal and do not require permission from the authorities.

The answer from Mr Yim Sovann was that “the demonstration does not reflect the present political stance of the party”. Upon reception of that message, the CNRP did not participate in the demonstration earning the recriminations of the organiser of the demonstration, Mr Hong Lim, a member of the Legislative Council (Senate) of the State of Victoria in Australia, who has been very outspoken against the state of affairs in Cambodia.

As a Cambodian-Australian, who wishes the best for his country, with a truly democratic society and institutions, a transparent government and the rule of the law, I urge Prime Minister Samdech Decho Hun Sen to stop behaving like an autocrat and to stop intercepting the correspondence of the legally elected opposition and allow them to represent the people of Cambodia in the National Assembly.

Socheat Yun
CNRP Working Group president in Melbourne

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said